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AARP, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Host ‘Social Security: Here Today, Here Tomorrow’ in Philadelphia


“Social Security was designed to preserve the dignity of retirees,” said Pennsylvania Senator Art Haywood, kicking off the program portion of “Social Security: Here Today, Here Tomorrow; Securing a Financial Future” at Center in the Park in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia on July 26. “That is why it’s so important to have this forum - - to talk in detail about the fact that Social Security is still there for us.”

Nearly 200 Philadelphians joined Haywood for the free town hall event, co-presented by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and AARP, as part of a national public education campaign.

The campaign is meant to better inform all Americans of Social Security myths and facts, especially Black Americans, who tend to rely more on Social Security income.

A similar event occurred in Richmond, Virginia in June and others are planned for Lansing, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, between August and October.

Attendees learned about their earned benefits and played Social Security-themed games – including a “The Price is Right”-style, Social Security-themed Plinko game, and a “What does Social Security Mean to You?” answer board. Attendees also won prizes and enjoyed light food and refreshments.

After gathering in the community center’s main hall, Senator Haywood delivered an enthusiastic statement of support for Social Security. Haywood, who was raised by a single mom and began working at 9 as a newspaper delivery boy, delivered comments on why preserving Social Security for future generations is so important — as is separating facts from myths about Social Security.

The town hall portion and Q&A was moderated by Philadelphia radio personality Frankie Darcell of WDAS-FM, who set the stage for social worker Allison Schilling and Attorney Sarah Martinez from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, who provided a “Social Security 101” presentation.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Max Richtman (NCPSSM President) and Carolyn Colvin (former Social Security Commissioner).

Each speaker debunked many of the myths and misinformation about Social Security. Funded by a payroll tax, Social Security provides vital financial assistance for nearly one in five Pennsylvanians and helps fuel the state’s economy.

Nearly 2.9 million Pennsylvanians receive Social Security benefits. These payments inject more than $50.6 billion into the state’s economy every year.

The average Social Security retired worker benefit for a Pennsylvanian is $1,601 per month (about $19,200 annually), while the average disabled worker benefit is $1,282 per month (about $15,400 annually).

Black individuals especially rely on Social Security income. Overall, 20 percent of Black Pennsylvania residents 65 and older live in families that rely on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income compared to 17 percent of white residents.

NCPSSM has posted a recording of the entire Philadelphia town hall here.

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