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Aging and Social Welfare Policy


... 30 years after the Social Security Act ... The Social Security Act created financial protection for ... Social Security Administration keeps track of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Aging and Social Welfare Policy

Aging and Social Welfare Policy
  • Segal Brzuzy 8

What About Aging?
  • Is part of the human condition
  • Historically, care for the elderly was handled
    within the family
  • Life expectancy has risen gradually over the
  • In 1995, more than 35 million people were 65 or

History of Social Welfare for the Aging
  • During 19th century, most people worked (concept
    of retirement is relatively new)
  • Idea of leaving workforce was formalized with
    policies and programs
  • Great Depression hit older people hard
  • Rise in the political movement for the elderly

Social Welfare Policies
  • Social Security Act of 1935
  • Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
    program (commonly referred to as social security)
  • Medicare, enacted 30 years after the Social
    Security Act
  • Older Americans Act (1965), furthered policy
    gains made by older adults

Social Welfare Policies (cont..)
  • OAA provided financial support for programs and
    services for older adults
  • Health Insurance for the Age and Disabled,
    included in the S.S. Act of 1965 (Title XVIII)

What Is Social Security?
  • The Social Security Act created financial
    protection for workers as they age
  • Initially provided for old-age benefits for
    retired workers
  • In 1939, expanded to cover retired worker,
    his/her survivors, and dependents

How the Program Works
  • While people are young, they pay into the system
  • Amount paid in is a set percent of income (7.65
    as of 1996) for social security and Medicare
  • Employer matches both and pays it directly to the
    federal government
  • Is a regressive tax

  • If self employed, responsible for paying for both
  • Social Security Administration keeps track of
  • Majority of women receive benefits as wives or
    survivors of eligible workers

Importance of Social Security?
  • Keeps many older adults financially out of
  • Elderly below poverty line, 68 of their total
    income comes from OASDI benefits
  • Decrease in poverty is related to the programs
  • Universality of the program allows any older
    adult (rich or poor) to receive benefits

Future of Social Security
  • Permanent expectation of Americans of all income
  • Baby boomers will expand the number of retirees
  • Many more people are living longer
  • Policy choices (cutting benefits, limiting
    eligibility, raising taxes, or combination of all

Health Care for the Elderly
  • Medicare provides coverage for many routine
    medical procedures and very specialized care
  • Cost has been a major policy problem
  • Covers large potion of health costs, but does not
    include all medical expenses
  • One costly concern is long-term care
  • Medicare covers nursing home care for a period up
    to only 100 days

  • Caring for people as they age is costly for
    individuals and the government
  • Reliance on Medicare and Medicaid is costly to
  • Private insurance, personal savings, and family
    members not able to fully support the need
  • Alternative solutions to long-term care is needed

Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA)
  • 1961, first White House Conference on Aging was
  • OAA subsidized social services and the
    development of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to
    coordinate provisions of the Act
  • Funds support transportation, senior centers,
    recreation, nutrition, and health-related
    programs (I.e., immunizations)

OAA (cont..)
  • Create a governmental agent to coordinate the
    various existing services
  • Create new ways to better serve older adults
  • Programs coordinated through provisions (group
    meals, Meals on Wheels, home-based care,
    employment services, adult day care for elderly
    with impairments

  • Services are for people 60 years or older
  • Services tend to be directed to those in need
  • Increase in aging population will challenge
    resources of OAAs programs and demand social
    welfare policy changes

Final Thoughts
  • Emphasis on programs and services for older
    adults has gained strength
  • Strong political power and influence of senior
  • Government support has freed younger generation
    from responsibility
  • Policy-makers need to be more attentive to the
    wishes of the aged