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State and National Legislation Updates

With the state facing a budget shortfall for 2012-13, AARP Oregon is fighting to protect services for low-income seniors. Senior programs have already taken serious cuts including Adult Protective Services staff reduced to 62% of their projected workload, the Seniors and People with Disabilities eligibility offices will be staffed at 71% of current caseloads; and authorized hours for in-home care clients cut 5 percent effective Jan. 1.

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Another big issue that AARP will continue to advocate for seniors affected by the changes to the Senior Property Tax Deferral program.

AARP Oregon and The Campaign for Oregon’s Seniors and People with Disabilities is mounting an Engagement Day on Feb. 2 and an advertising campaign to inform the public and caution legislators against cutting additional critical programs and services. But, we need your help.

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Protect Seniors Campaign Update

AARP is not sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the national budget talks. We are fighting to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, programs Americans depend on for a secure retirement.

Thanks to the efforts of many AARP members, we have emerged from the ups and downs of the Super Committee without any cuts to Social Security, Medicare benefits and Medicaid. This has been quite an effort over the past several months – but through hard work we were able to raise the voices of – not to mention, mobilize – our members and the entire 50+ population!

This is critical for the Oregon economy. About one in five Oregon residents receives Social Security. While 68 percent of beneficiaries are retirees, 32 percent are not: 54,020 are widows and widowers; 91,803 are people with disabilities; 31,000 are spouses; and 42,394 are children. The average yearly Social Security benefit for an Oregon retiree in 2009 was $13,864 – or about $1,155 a month. But, that is reduced because Medicare premiums, which are about $100 per month are taken out of your Social Security benefits. In Oregon, 43 percent of the state’s 65+ population would have incomes below the poverty line if they did not receive Social Security.

“People 50+ have worked hard over their lifetimes and depend on the Medicare and Social Security benefits they have earned for their health and retirement security," said Joyce DeMonnin, Outreach Director of AARP Oregon "Seniors want their elected leaders to cut waste and tax loopholes, not their hard-earned benefits."

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