Friday, December 18, 2009

Older Worker Program Receives More Funding from Congress

Last week, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) received additional funding under the Older Americans Act. Funding for Administration on Aging programs was approved by Congress as a package of appropriations bills and a 44% ($254.5 million) increase will be administered for SCSEP.

The additional funding is in response to the record high unemployment rates among low-income seniors as a result of the recession. As recently as November, the unemployment rate for elders 65+ was 5.9%, according to the Urban Institute.

A number of elders are still seeking work opportunities to make ends meet, but many are not able to find the help they need. SCSEP is one way to help low-income elders move toward economic security. The program has already provided more job training and employment assistance through Recovery Act dollars. With additional funding in 2010, it will be better able to serve elders across the country.

For more information about SCSEP visit the Department of Labor website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

$250 One-Time Social Security Payment Newsletter

The Elder Economic Security Initiative™ team at WOW is delighted to share our final newsletter of the year! This month, we chose to highlight the one-time $250 Social Security payment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We hope the overview, data points, policy update and resources are helpful!

For more information about ARRA, sign up to receive the WOW weekly update on ARRA happenings.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Job Opening: WOW Seeks Field Coordinator

The Elder Economic Security Initiative™ at Wider Opportunities for Women is searching for a Field Coordinator to join our team.

A complete job description is posted on our website. Applications will be accepted until January 5, 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Health Care Reform Update

The first of many steps was taken this week to push a final health care bill to the President’s desk by the end of the year. This week the Senate began debating its proposed health care bill. On Thursday, the Senate rejected a bid to reduce Medicare cuts and approved safeguards for coverage of preventive tests for women.

The Senate must vote and approve a final bill, however, before both the House and Senate bills can be reconciled into one bill for the President to sign.

This week, WOW and other national allied aging and disability organizations sponsored a CLASS Act Call-in Day to keep long-term care insurance at the forefront of Senators minds as they debate the bill. Currently, 10 million Americans need long-term care and support. The Elder Index shows that an elder’s costs can double or even triple due to long-term care expenses.

As the Baby Boomer generation ages the number of elders in need of long-term care services will only increase and it is important to have a long-term care insurance program that everyone, regardless of income status, can participate in to receive the services they will need to age in place.

As of Friday afternoon, the CLASS Act survived two votes on the Senate floor. Remember to tell your Senator to support the CLASS act by sending her/him an email.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Today is CLASS Act Call-in Day!

Today, national allied aging and disability organizations are sponsoring a call-in day to express to the Senate the importance of including long-term care insurance in its version of the health care bill.

Call (800) 958-5374 today between 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST and urge your Senators to keep the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act in the final Senate version of the bill.

To learn more about the CLASS Act, review the talking points from WOW. Feel free to use the sample phone script, provided by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aged below. You can also send your Senator an email.

Sample Script

Hello. I am calling to ask the Senator to make sure the CLASS Act remains in the final health reform legislation. People need help accessing the long-term services and supports that help them remain independent and at home. The CLASS Act is an affordable, accessible and fiscally solvent way to provide these services and reduce Medicaid costs at the same time. I thank the Senator in advance for the support, and I look forward to a response.