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Social Security Delivering on its Promise to Millions of Ohioans

August 10, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - There's a diamond anniversary this week for a program that continues to deliver on its promise to millions of Ohioans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, and for 75 years, working Americans have paid into the system, knowing that their earned benefit will be there when they need it.

AARP Ohio president Joann Limbach says the program is there not just for retirees, but also widows and widowers, children and disabled workers.

"Social security is extremely important: First of all, it's not a welfare program, it's a program people pay for; secondly, for the middle class it's a safety net, but for the poor it's actually a lifeline."

Younger Ohioans might be concerned that their benefits might not be available for them, but Limbach says the system can continue to remain solvent.

"It has enough reserves to pay, for the next 27 years, 100 percent of Social Security benefits. What we're looking at now is an opportunity with some lead time to begin to strengthen Social Security. "

After 2037, the program will be able to pay 75 percent of benefits for 50 years.

The last overhaul of the program was in 1983, and Limbach says a few small changes could ensure the stability of Social Security for years to come. AARP is studying several proposed changes to the system, but is not backing any particular plan so far.

Currently, more than two million people in Ohio collect their monthly benefit checks, with approximately 1.3 million being 65 years or older.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH