AARP Pushes for Fairness to Older Workers

May 12, 2005, 01:00 ET from AARP Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG, Pa., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP Pennsylvania recognizes
 action taken yesterday by the House Labor Relations Committee, which
 unanimously approved legislation to end the Commonwealth's practice of
 discriminating against unemployed older workers.
     The Committee voted in favor of House Bill 163, a measure to allow
 qualified unemployed workers who are receiving Social Security benefits to get
 full unemployment compensation.  Pennsylvania law currently penalizes these
 unemployed workers by forcing them to forfeit $1 of unemployment compensation
 for every $2 they receive in Social Security benefits.
     "This is an unfair situation for older workers," said J. Shane Creamer,
 AARP Pennsylvania State President.  "These workers and their employers
 contribute to the unemployment compensation system just like any worker.  Yet
 should they lose their job, they are denied their full unemployment
 compensation payment."  Only 13 other states penalize older workers in this
 manner.  West Virginia and Hawaii enacted legislation earlier this year to
 enable older workers in those states to collect full unemployment benefits.
     "Older workers continue to work because they desperately need the income
 from their jobs," adds Creamer.  "For an older person who may have lost their
 retiree health benefits or who has high prescription drug costs, a Social
 Security benefit may not be enough to make ends meet.  Should this person lose
 their job, they need unemployment benefits while they search for another
 position, just like a younger worker."
     The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a similar measure in
 2003, but the legislation did not make it out of the State Senate.  "AARP is
 determined to see this bill pass both the House and Senate and be signed into
 law by the Governor," emphasized Creamer.  "It's time to recognize that
 unemployed older workers deserve to be treated the same as any other
 unemployed worker in Pennsylvania."
     AARP has over 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania.  AARP is a nonprofit,
 nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence,
 choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and
 society as a whole.  We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP
 Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine
 in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+
 educators; and our website, .
     AARP Foundation is our affiliated charity that provides security,
 protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from
 thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all
 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
      Angela Foreshaw
      Communications-Associate State Director
      AARP Pennsylvania
      (o) 717-237-6491
      (m) 215-519-4648

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania