Task Force on Aging Demands Reversal of Postal Cutbacks

Today, the Task Force on Aging & Families, led by Co-Chair Doris Matsui (D-CA) along with Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), demanded in a letter that USPS Postmaster General DeJoy immediately reverse harmful policies that have delayed the delivery of social security checks and jeopardized the financial security of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. The letter, signed by 23 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, comes two days after Postmaster General DeJoy refused to reverse any of the devastating changes made under his direction despite internal Postal Service documents revealing increasing mail delays nationwide over the last two months, delays that are far worse than originally believed.

 “Older Americans rely on the postal service as an essential part of their lives, including delivery of the Social Security benefit payments they earned through their working years,” said the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging & Families. “Seniors and Americans with disabilities depend on timely delivery of their benefits to put food on their tables and keep the lights on in their homes. Additionally, many order life-saving prescription drugs through the mail as well. Any delay by the USPS threatens the financial security and health of seniors across the country. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must reverse the ill-conceived changes that have recently delayed mail service for so many and enact a plan to protect the integrity of our constitutionally-afforded postal service.”

Over 500,000 Americans receive their monthly social security check through mail delivered by USPS. The delays in mail delivery times put older Americans at greater risk of financial insecurity in an already difficult time. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center study, one-third of adults ages 65 and older say they never use the internet, and 49% report that they do not have home broadband internet, making this population even more reliant on getting information through the mail. In addition to social security checks, nearly one in five Americans said they received medications through the mail according to one recent poll, of which a quarter said they experienced some delay or lack of delivery.

“Social Security is the bedrock of the American dream, a hard-earned benefit that supports seniors’ ability to retire with dignity and independence and provides a regular income to those who experience significant disabilities that prevent them from continuing to work. For the nearly 40 percent of older Americans that rely on Social Security benefits as their sole source of income in retirement, timely mail delivery is critical to the ability to pay bills on time,” Reps. Doris Matsui and Deb Haaland wrote. “To protect the retirement and financial security of Older Americans and people with disabilities, and ensure they are supported with the resources needed to stay safely at home during this crisis, we urge you to address outstanding mail delays immediately.”

This letter has been endorsed by Social Security Works, NAACP, Justice in Aging, National Senior Corps Association, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM).

A copy of the letter is available here.

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