Alexandria, VA: President Obama is considering Executive action soon that would bypass Congress on immigration. A White House initiative that supplies green cards and work - authorized Social Security numbers to undocumented immigrants would also open a pathway to Social Security benefits, warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Access to work authorization would add new long-term liabilities to Social Security at the same time the program is the target of proposals to cut the growth in beneficiaries’ annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). “Work authorization is all that’s required for entitlement to Social Security— not citizenship,” says TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. According to the Congressional Research Service, noncitizens that get work-authorized Social Security numbers would become eligible for Social Security benefits with enough years of earnings and when age requirements are met. Under current law when a claim is filed, Social Security uses all earnings to determine entitlement to and the amount of initial benefits, including earnings from jobs worked under fraudulent and invalid Social Security numbers. “Executive action that leaves Congress out of the decision could back-fire at election time,” Cates says. A survey of Social Security recipients conducted by TSCL earlier this year found that the overwhelming number of participants strongly favor legislation that prohibits the payment of Social Security benefits calculated on earnings from unauthorized work by immigrants. TSCL believes that Executive action would have the most immediate implications on the Social Security disability insurance program and Medicare. Unlike the retirement program, younger adults may claim disability benefits. “When disabled, the number of work credits one needs to qualify for benefits varies depending on age,” Cates notes. Workers disabled before the age of 24 may qualify with as little as 6 quarters of work credits (about 1.5 years) — far less than the 40 quarters (about ten years) needed to qualify for retirement benefits at age 62. “In addition, disabled beneficiaries qualify for Medicare after two years,” observes Cates.” Recently the Social Security Trustees said that the Social Security Disability Trust Fund faces depletion in just two years. Without Congressional action, benefits would be cut about 23 percent to adjust to the amount of payroll taxes flowing into the program. What do you think? Should President Obama bypass Congress to halt deportations of immigrants in this country illegally? Take a poll at www.SeniorsLeague.org.
With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA The Enlisted Association. Please visit www.SeniorsLeague.org or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information. If you would like to continue receiving these press releases via email, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.  Social Security Benefits For Noncitizens, Nuschler and Siskin, Congressional Research Service, February 2, 2010, RL32004, http://greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/2012/documents/RL32004_gb.pdf  Social Security Trustees Report, July 28, 2014, page 3. http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/index.html