Gov Moonbeam, How’s he Working Out for You?
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(KPCC) More than 770,000 Seniors in California are not making enough to get by but are not considered poor enough by the Obama Administration, according to a UCLA health policy study challenging the definition of poverty in America.
According to the study brief released on Monday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about 340,000 California residents 65 or older are considered poor based on the Federal Poverty Level which makes them eligible for public assistance programs but in an analysis of 2009-2011 U.S. Census data the researchers concluded about 772,000 more Seniors in California could use help but are not considered ‘poor enough’ Imelda Padilla-Frausto, a graduate student researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the study said Monday.
“They don’t have enough income to meet a minimally decent standard of living,” — the ‘hidden poor’ made more than the 2011 poverty level which was $10,890 a year for someone living alone but their annual income was less than $23,364–the amount a Senior need to make ends meet according to the Elder Index which estimates the cost of living county-by-county raking into consideration how much one spends on housing, medical care, food and transportation.
Padilla-Frausto said the federal-poverty level is too rigid to measure whether people need assistance because it sets an across the board guideline (standard) no matter how expensive one state or area may be compared with the rest of the country.
The UCLA study found more single Seniors among the ‘hidden poor’ in rural areas such as Nevada, Plumas and Sierra Counties in Northern California–Imperial County has the highest percentage in the state. More than 40% of its elderly residents are living just above the federal poverty line but below the California Elder Index.
Grandparents raising their grandchildren and Seniors who have adult children living with them are more likely to be among the ‘hidden poor’ according to the UCLA study.