As threat of a government shut down looms over the budget confrontation between Democrats and Republicans, some programs critical to seniors are on the chopping block according to the proposed House budget passed over the weekend by the House Republicans. Some of the cuts outlined in the proposed house budget includes senior housing program cuts of over $500 million and substantial reductions in community programs that assist seniors as well as significant reductions in low-income housing programs. Some of the additional cuts target job training and placement programs that are used by low-income seniors.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is voicing concerns over the 64% reduction in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) which assists older adults return to the workforce. The NCOA estimates that the cuts would result in the loss of over 83,000 part-time jobs, thus eliminating the primary source of income for many of them.
"For older adults aged 55-64, who cannot yet claim Social Security, the loss of this program could be particularly devastating," said Jim Firman, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging (NCOA). "According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, older workers who have lost a job are more likely than any other age group to face very long-term unemployment and remain jobless for 99 weeks or more."