Higgins Urging Action to Strengthen Social Security
On the Anniversary of the First Social Security Check, Congressman Outlines Proposed Improvements
Washington, DC, January 31, 2020
As the United States celebrates the 80th anniversary of the first Social Security payment, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) laid out several steps he is taking to strengthen the program and improve services to recipients.
On January 31, 1940 Ida May Fuller became the first American to receive a Social Security check. That payment of just over $22 monthly wasn’t much, but it represented a new promise to Americans: if you work hard, you should live a dignified retirement.
This week Congressman Higgins advocated for action during remarks on the House floor, “Eighty years ago this week Americans began receiving Social Security benefits. Social Security is a highly popular and successful program with a trust fund exceeding $1.9 trillion. With rising life expectancy since the program’s inception, adjustments need to be made to improve and strengthen Social Security for future generations.”
To view video go to: https://youtu.be/Z1FsgLuSiVk
Higgins is supporting the following legislation:
Since 2007 the Social Security Administration has closed 18 field offices in New York State alone, including Western New York office closings in Cheektowaga in 2007 and Amherst in 2014. A total of 127 offices have closed across the nation since 2002, impacting access to services and further complicating a program that can be wrought with red tape.
In 1935, before Social Security, half of all Americans over the age of 65 lived in poverty. Although benefits are modest, with the average retiree beneficiary receiving about $17,640 in Social Security annually, today the program lifts 22 million Americans out of poverty. Approximately 500,000 people living in Western New York region’s three Congressional districts receive Social Security.