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approves cuts targeting Seniors…
Bill guts the only Jobs Program for
Vulnerable Older Americans
21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
-- Cuts included in the spending bill
approved by the U.S. House of
Representatives this past week would harm
seniors by drastically slashing initiatives
that help older Americans to sustain their
economic independence and health.
Cut job training and placement by over $2
including a $525
in services specifically for low-income
Cut senior housing programs by $551
Cut Community Health Centers that serve seniors
Cut low-income home energy assistance by $390
Eliminate the Weatherization program;
Cut Community Services Block Grants, which
assist 2.3 million seniors, by $305
Cut programs that include senior volunteers by
Cut the Social Security Administration by $625
which will slow down claims.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is
particularly concerned that the continuing
appropriations bill provides for a 64% cut
in the Senior
Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP),
the only major jobs program targeted
specifically to helping disadvantaged older
adults who need to remain in or return to
the workforce to avoid financial crisis.
SCSEP serves those with extremely low incomes,
with eligibility limited to 125% of the
federal poverty line (currently $13,613).
This cut would result in the loss of over
83,000 part-time jobs, thus eliminating the
primary source of income for many of them.
"For older adults aged 55-64, who cannot yet
claim Social Security, the loss of this
program could be particularly devastating,"
Firman, president and CEO of the NCOA.
"According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, older
workers who have lost a job are more likely
than any other age group to face very
long-term unemployment and remain jobless
for 99 weeks or more."
Public support for older adult jobs programs is
extremely high, according to a survey
conducted by Lake Research Partners for
Wider Opportunities for Women in October
The survey found that 84% of Americans
supported or strongly supported "funding
programs that help senior citizens find
employment," including 90% of Democrats
polled, 79% of Republicans, and 79% of
"If the politicians truly 'listened to the
people' as they claim," said Firman, "they
certainly would not cut jobs for seniors,
particularly in this economy."
The House legislation also calls for a $390
in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP). Almost 40% of households
served by LIHEAP include an adult aged 60 or
older. This reduction will force older
Americans to make life and death decisions
between buying food and medicine or home
Employment and benefits are important pieces of
the puzzle for older adults who are living
on the edge of poverty. NCOA is committed to
helping older adults build greater economic
security, and offers a variety of other
NCOA's Economic Security Service Centers provide
low-income older adults with one-on-one
economic casework at 12 locations
Environmental Employment (SEE) program
provides an opportunity for retired and
unemployed older Americans aged 55+ to share
their expertise in jobs for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
Home Equity and Reverse Mortgage Counseling helps
millions of seniors make prudent use of
their equity so they can "use their home to
stay at home."
a free online screening tool that searches
over 2,000 federal, state, local, and
private programs to help seniors pay for
prescription drugs, utility bills, meals,
health care, and other needs.
For more information on NCOA's programs, please