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RESOURCE FOR JOURNALISTS: Report on Protecting Vulnerable Elders

New America Media, News Report, Posted: Mar 10, 2009

Strengthening Social Security for Vulnerable Groups is a new report from the nonpartisan National Academy for Social Insurance (NASI) proposing changes in 12 sections of the Social Security Act.

Journalists can find a gold mine worth of story leads in a new report published by the nonpartisan National Academy for Social Insurance (NASI), based in Washington, D.C. Most mainstream coverage of Social Security involves big-ticket debates over the programs solvency. But the problems identified in this report hit people closer to home level, often in ethnic minority communities

One of the 12 issues addressed in the new report, Strengthening Social Security for Vulnerable Groups, is how low-income elders and people with disabilities can be protected from having their Social Security benefits garnished by creditors. Another paper explores what can be done to stop agribusinesses from misclassifying farm workers as self-employed, thus reducing or eliminating their pensions.

The dozen public policy papers in the report are described in a one-paragraph summary in the beginning of the publication. Each paper explains issues little known to the public. The chapters propose policy changes that would improve the lot of vulnerable people, who find themselves entangled in the complications of Social Security.

Another issue covered in the papers is the need to ease barriers in navigating the disability-claims process when applicants have the double burden of homelessness and serious mental illness. An additional paper examines increasing benefits for such groups as widowed spouses, low-paid worker and beneficiaries who live to advanced ages.

To download the 59-page report, which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundations Campaign for American Workers, visit the NASI website at www.nasi.org.

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