SOCIAL Security benefits

Wednesday, August 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A question about social security benefits tops this Consumer 6 report. A recent letter asking seniors to support new legislation left one woman wondering if it's legitimate. So she called News on Six reporter Diane White.

A lady in Bixby received a notice in the mail, sent to people born between January 1, 1917 and December 31, 1926. They're typically called 'notch victims', because of a law passed in 1977; this group of seniors is getting smaller social security payments than others.

There have been several attempts to change the law so this group gets equal social security benefits, but none has been successful. This brochure has been showing up in mailboxes - asking seniors to support a new bill. We checked it out and learned a Texas congressman has introduced legislation that would provide more money for notch victims. The brochure is from a legitimate lobbying group - the Senior Citizens League. Rick Brinkley with the Better Business Bureau, "When you do respond to something like this you're really not impacting the legislation directly. What you're doing is your helping support the organization - the Senior Citizens League." The Senior Citizens League will use the money to lobby in favor of the bill. If it does become law, the government would pay notch victims either a $5,000 lump sum, or provide higher payments each month.

Some seniors are skeptical because there have been scams in the past. Brinkley, "There had been a problem a couple of years ago in which someone used this organization's name to run a scam to try to get people's social security numbers." But this brochure clearly tells people to not send their social security number, it just asks for their support.

If you have a question for Consumer Six, call 732-6111.