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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Biden Makes It Easier to Collect Social Security and Other Benefits

Executive Order Aims to Cut ‘Time Tax’ that Delays Receiving Aid


President Biden signed an executive order that makes it much easier for people to collect Social Security and many other federal government benefits. People over 65 are likely to benefit most.

It’s a story about helping people get what they earned, but it hardly made the news when Biden signed it in mid-December.

President Biden is focused on eliminating what he calls the “time tax.” This “tax” is the price people pay because of delays accessing benefits. There’s every reason for them not to have to wait, to get them immediately.

Today there are many programs to help Americans in need that are underused, such as the Medicare Savings Programs and Medicaid. Millions of people who qualify for these programs are not benefiting from them. Sometimes people don’t even know about them. Many other people cannot overcome the administrative hurdles needed to meet eligibility requirements.

The Biden administration wants to eliminate or reduce hurdles to getting government benefits. It is developing an online tool to simplify the process for claiming Social Security benefits. It is also developing an online tool that makes it easier for people with Medicare to save money on their drugs and health care.

In addition to these tools, the administration is developing other helpful tools for people in need. It is creating a single portal for service members to access benefits. And, it will create an online portal for people affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.

People with low incomes will have access to a new tool that makes it easier for them to prove eligibility for food and other benefits.

In addition, the Biden administration is focused on making it easier and faster to get through security at the airport. Already, I can tell you firsthand that at Miami International airport you no longer need to show your boarding pass at security. Your driver’s license provides all the needed information.

Diane Archer is president of Just Care USA, an independent digital hub covering health and financial issues facing boomers and their families and promoting policy solutions. She is the past board chair of Consumer Reports and in 1989 founder and president of the Medicare Rights Center.