Longevity Bonus provides dignity

Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2003

I was excited to see that the Longevity Bonus was being reconsidered! So many seniors depend on that money for food and rent. My father died in 1987 and all my mom gets is his Social Security, which isn't much, and the Longevity Bonus. My mom depends on it for her Medicare premium and prescriptions that she needs to stay in good health. It's not much what she does get a month, but it means everything to her. We were talking about if they took the Longevity Bonus away, that she would have to file for public assistance.

If the Longevity Bonus disappears, the seniors who depend on it for cost of living allowance will all have to file for rental assistance, heating assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, etc., which would still cost the state probably more money than it did paying them their bonus!

It's really embarrassing for some senior citizens to even think about having to apply for assistance! I know some seniors would rather starve than to walk into the Office of Public Assistance to apply for help, some are very proud and find it disrespectful to even think about it, they were brought up to be strong and proud and self-sufficient. Please don't take this from them!

It just makes me so sad to think of them having to humble themselves to go that far. I wish I had lots of money, I would take care of any extra money my mom would need and if I had money left over, I would donate it to the seniors who would need help financially if the Longevity Bonus was discontinued. Maybe something could be done where they could put a cap on whoever made more than $15,000 a year. I know some senior citizens have enough money to live on and get the Longevity Bonus. Just some ideas.

Ingrid Diouf

Juneau



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