Long-Term Care Costs Weigh Heavily On Middle-Class Families
CBS News reports that for many seniors and their families, home care needs create a serious financial bind.
CBS News: Aging In America: Stuck In The Middle
Senior citizens whose finances fall in the middle -- not rich, not poor -- can find themselves in a real bind if they need home care. And their loved ones can find themselves caught in the middle as well. ... "This is my calm before the storm," said Kathy Warren, as she sat at her kitchen table doing a puzzle. "It kind of centers me." But Warren is still keeping watch out her window, on her 92-year-old stepfather next door. ... Most of the rest of her day, in a modest mobile home park in Hayward, Calif., will be spent on his care. ... "In the middle": Not poor enough to quality for Medicaid (which, unlike Medicare, does cover many long-term care expenses), and not rich enough to pay for long-term care. So the burden falls on his stepdaughter (Braver, 10/19).
Meanwhile, The Washington Post examines the backlogged office that decides whether people qualify for disability payments -
The Washington Post: 'It's Just Maddening. There's Nothing You Can Do.'
In an obscure corner of the federal bureaucracy, there is an office that is 990,399 cases behind. ... It is bigger even than the infamous backups at Veterans Affairs, where 526,000 people are waiting in line, and the patent office, where 606,000 applications are pending. All of these people are waiting on a single office at the Social Security Administration. Social Security is best-known for sending benefits to seniors. But it also pays out disability benefits to people who can’t work because of mental or physical ailments. And it runs an enormous decision-making bureaucracy to sort out who is truly disabled enough to get the checks — and who is trying to game the systems (Fahrenthold, 10/19).