SHICKSHINNY ‚?? For Sandy Hoffman, Social Security checks make it possible to live on her own and not be dependent on her children.
Hoffman, 67, is a resident of the Shickshinny Senior Center, where a birthday party was held Thursday celebrating Social Security‚??s 77th year.
It also was Audrey Sedivi‚??s 80th birthday and she‚??s awaiting an apartment at the senior center.
‚??Social Security pays all my bills,‚?Ě Sedivi said with a smile. ‚??When I move in here, I will finally be living on my own. Social Security made that possible.‚?Ě
Pam Zaremba, Northeast PA Zone coordinator for the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, hosted the party, and when she was not playing the piano and leading songs, she answered senior citizens‚?? questions on Social Security.
‚??They have concerns,‚?Ě Zaremba said. ‚??They worry not only about their benefits, but whether Social Security will be there for their children and grandchildren.‚?Ě
About 30 residents of the senior center attended the luncheon and stayed for the program. They wanted to hear news about Social Security and shared a birthday cake for Social Security, Sedivi and Harriet Hess, who turned 83 Wednesday. Laura Dorshefski, center director, said the 49 residents tell her they are worried about Social Security‚??s future.
‚??They feel they won‚??t get back what the paid in,‚?Ě she said.
Hoffman says whether Social Security goes up or down, she has no choice but to adjust.
‚??We live within the budget we get,‚?Ě she said. ‚??We don‚??t have that many more years left, but we want to enjoy them and stand on our own two feet.‚?Ě
She and Sedivi said they rely on Social Security for medical care, prescription drugs and other needs.
‚??I pay my bills and have a couple dollars left to play bingo,‚?Ě Hoffman said.
Eve Malishchak, 82, who grew up in Hanover Township, said she couldn‚??t get around without her monthly Social Security check.
‚??I hope they don‚??t cut it out,‚?Ě she said. ‚??If they do, there will be a lot of people on the sidelines.‚?Ě
George Shyner Sr., 76, worked as a carpenter all his life. He said Social Security is his primary source of income.
Shyner said he worries about the program getting cut, but if it does, he said he will ‚??go with the flow.‚?Ě He said he worries more about the future and whether Social Security will be there for his children and grandchildren.
Shyner served eight years in the National Guard. He said if he got the chance, he would tell President Obama and Congress to make sure Social Security remains strong and is there for future generations.
Pam Zaremba of Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, passed out informational sheets to the 30 residents who attended Thursday‚??s Social Security Birthday Party at the Shickshinny Senior Center.
Here are some key statistics:
‚?Ę At the end of 2011, 55 million people ‚?? 38 million retirees, 4.2 million surviving spouses, 10.5 million disabled workers and 4.3 million children under 18 ‚?? were receiving Social Security benefits.
‚?Ę The Trust Fund balance at the end of 2011 was $2.67 trillion.
‚?Ę The Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2033 if nothing is done before that. Benefits would be cut by 23 percent but would continue.