California’s Master Plan For Aging: Increase Income for Seniors and People with Disabilities who Receive SSI/SSP

By | FACT SHEET, Long Term Care, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY, Supplemental Security Income, Toolkit

California has committed to developing a Master Plan for Aging in order to meet the needs of older adults today and for generations to come.

The second of the Master Plan for Aging series of papers, Increase Income for Seniors and People with Disabilities who Receive SSI/SSP, offers three specific policy recommendations for addressing the rising income inequality leading to a lack of retirement security, and for addressing the recession-era cuts that pushed SSI recipients below the poverty line.

Thousands of California Seniors are one Disaster Away from Homelessness. What can the State do?


USA Today: Thousands of California Seniors are one Disaster Away from Homelessness: What can the State do? (October 2, 2019)

Over 40,000 people age 65 and older were homeless in 2017, many of them in California. Older adults on fixed incomes are especially vulnerable to homelessness in California, due to the state’s shortage of appropriate, affordable housing. This USA Today story featured older adults experiencing homelessness in California, as well as  advocates offering recommendations for solutions to the crisis. Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, talked about why so many older adults are experiencing homelessness right now, noting the racial wealth gap is one reason so many older adults of color are experiencing homelessness.

More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness.


San Francisco Chronicle: More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness. (July 28, 2019)

More and more older adults living in California are homeless. Many are just one crisis away from homelessness. Poverty, a lack of economic security, and a lack of affordable housing are the main causes of homelessness. In this op-ed Justice in Aging authored with Margot Kushel, a medical doctor who researches the health impacts of homelessness on older adults, we make the case for  creating more affordable housing and providing older adults with a fixed income to lower cases of homelessness. Making health care more affordable, helping older adults maintain their home while recovering in nursing homes, and restoring SSI are additional ways to keep older adults from homelessness.

Benefits on the Line

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

The American Prospect: Benefits on the Line (June 19, 2019)

The Trump Administration has proposed to change how inflation is calculated, moving from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (chained CPI). This change in how poverty is measured would have drastic negative consequences for millions of low-income people, older adults, and people with disabilities. Many would become ineligible for benefits or would receive less assistance as chained CPI lowers the poverty line. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Tracey Gronniger says that, “It would hurt people who are so close to getting help. All of sudden, you have hundreds of thousands of people who are told, ‘Now you’re not poor anymore.’”

Justice in Aging’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Roll-back of Health Care Rights

By | Affordable Care Act, Health Care, LGBT, Safety Net Defense

Today as part of an ongoing attack on the most marginalized, the Trump Administration is proposing dangerous and far reaching changes to regulations implementing the Health Care Rights Law, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination in healthcare. The proposal attempts to eliminate the rights of LGBTQ people. It also rolls back protections for limited English proficient (LEP) older adults, and attempts to radically limit the way that victims of any type of discrimination can seek redress under the law. By gutting the only federal law designed to protect against discrimination in health care, the move is a cruel, extremist, and transparent political attack on LGBTQ older adults, LEP seniors, and others who frequently face discrimination in accessing care.

The ACA’s Health Care Rights provision is a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in federal health programs and activities. The law includes affirmative protections for consumers and obligations on insurers and providers, as well as a new avenue for older adults and others to enforce their rights.

The proposed changes to the Health Care Rights Law will be particularly harmful for transgender older adults – one in five of whom report being refused care because of their gender status. This discrimination, which compounds over a lifetime, contributes to poorer health outcomes among transgender older adults, with one in three reporting poor physical health. By deleting references to protections based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex stereotyping across federal healthcare regulations, the Trump Administration’s proposal is saying transgender older adults and LGBTQ people more broadly do not have the right to receive the care they need and be treated with dignity.

In the same proposed rulemaking, the Trump Administration is also rolling back language access protections for LEP older adults by eliminating the requirement that healthcare providers affirmatively distribute notices of non-discrimination and include translated taglines in significant communications to consumers. These requirements, key to enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, are critical to assist LEP communities to better understand their rights and access care.

Finally, if gutting key provisions of the existing regulations were not enough, the proposed rulemaking takes aim at the Health Care Rights Law’s enforcement structure, which would make it significantly more difficult to bring particular discrimination claims under the law.

To be clear, this proposed rule is part of a larger, strategic attack on the lives of LGBTQ and LEP older adults. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the same agency tasked with enforcing Section 1557, recently released a final “Conscience Rights” rule that allows providers to discriminate against transgender older adults and others on religious and moral grounds and changed the OCR mission statement to emphasize conscience and religious freedom. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed “public charge” rule would make it nearly impossible for LEP older immigrants to enter the U.S. or become permanent residents if they are not wealthy and use or might need Medicaid or help paying for Medicare, food or housing.

Upon the proposed rule being published in the Federal Register, a 60-day public comment period will begin. In the coming weeks, Justice in Aging will provide resources, including template comments, to help advocates fight back. Now is the time to tell the Trump Administration that the lives, rights, and dignity of LGBTQ older adults, LEP seniors, and people with disabilities matter and to protect the Health Care Rights Law.

Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population?


KPBS: Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population? (May 22, 2019)

California’s senior population is set to double over the next 25 years. And the state’s high cost of living means a life of poverty for hundreds of thousands of older Californians. KPBS media in San Diego hosted a live panel discussion with aging and economic security experts to discuss how the state can best meet the needs of an aging population while also ensuring that low-income older adults can meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and health care. Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville participated in this wide-ranging panel discussion.

Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security

Fast Company: Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.  (May 8, 2019)

Around half of Americans approaching retirement have no retirement savings. This is due to declining wages and pensions, high housing and health care costs, longevity, and myriad other reasons. There is no single solution, but there are actions businesses and policy makers can take that would help. One is to pay people more. “The fact that wages have been so stagnant for the middle class has really impacted the ability of people to save,” said Kevin Prindiville, Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, who was interviewed for the article. Creating more ways for people to saved, expanding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and creating more affordable housing are other solutions Justice in Aging proposes in the article.