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Benefits for seniors, retirees
Benefits for seniors, retirees
Carol Breeding, 58, is a retired educator.
Question: "My husband and I are retired. We get our pension plus my husband is on Social Security disability. Does the stimulus include any tax cuts, etc., for retirees or seniors?" - Carol Breeding

Expert: David Sloane, senior vice president of government relations and advocacy, AARP

Answer: The stimulus bill would give $250 through the Social Security system to retired people. It's modest, but it's something. It's not going to do anything to make people whole. But if you're going to have a Making Work Pay credit, then let's at least have a little bit of equity. Seniors are also highly likely to spend the money - and need it as much or more so than most.

Half of seniors aren't retired, though. And our focus is also on working people. In the stimulus bill there's the additional period of unemployment insurance, and the health care subsidy for COBRA. The $87 billion being funneled to states in the form of increased Medicaid match will also help an awful lot of people. Some think of folks on Medicaid as being poor people in America. But a lot of people in long-term care have spent down their assets and can't afford to be in a nursing home without it. And the bulk of the funding for long-term care, about two-thirds, comes from Medicaid.

We supported the stimulus with the hope that it will help the economy. We are hopeful. But I think we've got a long climb, and I'm not sure we've seen the worst of it yet.(For more details on how the stimulus affects retirees, click here.)

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Last updated February 24 2009: 6:58 AM ET
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