Content starts here
AARP AARP States Pennsylvania Community

July 26 forum in Philadelphia will spotlight Social Security

Untitled (8 × 5 in).jpg

On July 26, AARP Pennsylvania will sponsor a Town Hall Forum, which will be a unique opportunity to hear from leading experts who will explain how Social Security provides fundamental financial security – and not just in retirement.

The program - titled, “Social Security: Here Today, Here Tomorrow” - is for everyone but especially for African Americans, who have shorter life expectancies and higher disability rates, said Carolyn Colvin, who served as the acting commissioner of Social Security during the Obama administration.

“There’s so much misinformation out there,” Colvin said. “There are also many individuals in the Black community who are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled,” such as Social Security survivor benefits.

The July 26 forum is the second of several that the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) is holding with AARP across the country. A similar event occurred in Virginia, and others are planned for Detroit, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee.

The July 26 forum will be held at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Avenue, in the Germantown community of Northwest Philadelphia. The program is free, but attendees must register in advance.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., registered guests will enjoy lite fare, refreshments, games, and prizes. Following a brief welcome, Community Legal Services will give a presentation on Social Security basics. Philadelphia radio personality Frankie Darcell will moderate a panel discussion featuring Colvin, Community Legal Services and Max Richtman, President and CEO of the NCPSSM.

Social Security, funded by a payroll tax, 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 rely more 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 as compared with 17 percent of white residents.

Richtman said the July 26 forum will “help people understand the value of Social Security – and separate the myth from the facts.”

One of the myths, he said, is that the Social Security program is bankrupt.

Younger Americans may think “they’re more likely to see a UFO than to ever get a Social Security check,” Richtman said. “Well, that’s not true. They’re going to get a Social Security check. The question is, will they get full benefits?”

Richtman said Social Security will have a funding problem in the future: If nothing is done, the government would have to reduce benefits after 2034.

The forums in Philadelphia and other cities will “help people understand why the Congress needs to address the long-term shortfall so that the program is there in full beyond the next 10 years,” Richtman said.

At a Glance

What: “Social Security: Here Today, Here Tomorrow.” The event is free, but you must register at:

When: Wednesday, June 26. Games, prizes, lite fare, and refreshments will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation and panel discussion until 6:30 p.m.

Where: The July 26 forum will be held at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Avenue, in the Germantown community of Northwest Philadelphia. Parking is available onsite.

Can't attend the Philadelphia town hall in person? Watch a recorded video stream here! Check it out on YouTube or Facebook:

Online Resources:

About AARP Pennsylvania
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.