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and the assignment of insurance. Our law also made it necessary for us to charge 5 percent of the net equity of the property, where the property did not produce a reasonable income. This resulted in reducing some of the awards of applicants who had accumulated a little property through hard work and thrift. Its real effect was to penalize thrift, as an applicant with property could not be paid as large an award as those who had nothing. We found that a real injustice was done in a great many cases; and this provision of the law has caused much criticism.
This unpopular provision of the Ohio law was changed recently by the legislature, so that it is now optional with the applicants for aid whether or not they transfer their property to the State. The only penalty for not transferring their property is that we are required to charge 5 percent of the net equity, thus reducing the awards of those who keep their property, while if they transfer the property no deduction is made, and the award is consequently larger than if they had not done so. This, we believe, will be found more satisfactory and will serve as a reward for those applicants who have by their efforts added to the wealth of the State. This amendment has been in effect for only a short time, but we believe one of the most generally criticized parts of the law has thereby been removed. No interest is now charged on bills against the estates of deceased recipients, as was formerly the case, when 4 percent was charged.
These changes now permit us to make maximum awards where the need exists, provided the applicants are willing to transfer their property to the State.
The third question concerns the personnel necessary to the proper administration of the old-age assistance law in our State.
I wish to quote from a resolution adopted by the Fraternal Order of Eagles at their national convention in Chicago.
Resolved, That our order insist, first, that those in charge of investigations, case work, and general administration of these laws shall be chosen from among those who have experience and genuine interest in humanitarian activities, and, second, that they shall not be discriminated against as employees because they do not have credits in the social science courses of colleges and universities. The prime requisite of employees who contact the dependents who will be benefited by these laws is that they have a broad sympathy with those that need aid. Common sense and a knowledge of human nature gained through experience and personal contacts are much more to be desired in an administrator than technical training. Common sense, a sympathetic attitude toward those needing aid, and the experiences gained from human contacts are all important.
There is a tremendously strong feeling in Ohio that local people with ability, courtesy, and human kindness are best fitted to determine their neighbors' needs. For after all, if we are to build old-age assistance on a permanent foundation, the laws of the respective States must be administered by people who are sincerely and earnestly interested in seeing that each aged person seeking care is given every consideration to which he is entitled; that the investigations are thorough, yet handled courteously and tactfully; and that all available resources of our offices are placed at the disposal of the needy aged, in order to insure the maximum degree of peace and happiness to those whose last years of life are entrusted to our care.
Mr. MagnUSSON (Washington, D. C.). Mr. McLogan made an interesting suggestion, contemplating the possibility of a subcommittee acting further upon the report, and perhaps agreeing upon what seemed to it general principles which this group might adopt with respect to old-age pension systems. I do not know whether that is a suggestion to follow up--whether it is impossible, or whether we are not nearly enough agreed among ourselves to arrive at a report--but I think for those States that are handling old-age pensions it would be a useful thing to do. In the District of Columbia we have a peculiar administrative device. The board of public welfare, under the supervision of the commissioners, administers the law. The director of public welfare has seen fit to appoint a small advisory citizens' committee, of which I happen to be chairman. The board calls us in every so often and goes over with us all their problem cases, those which they themselves do not know whether they ought to approve or disapprove. We do not know who the persons are, of course, but the cases are presented to us and we are asked to give our collective judgment upon them. Something like that might come up before a committee here which would be studying the problem. I was also struck by the same thing as to the unemployment-compensation report. Here is a report which covers the whole question but offers no conclusion as to basic principles for a law. Of course, I realize that that is perhaps a hazardous thing to do, inasmuch as the Social Security Board itself has sent out model laws--two kinds in fact, so perhaps it is futile to ask this body to agree upon principles of unemployment compensation. And so I think that the suggestion Mr. McLogan made of extending these committees during this conference in order that they may bring out a report in which they will agree on principles might be useful. I hesitate to make the suggestion because I think it ought to be discussed. It might be a good idea to add four or six persons to each of these committees, which would meet and discuss and agree upon recommendations. I think they could agree on some reasonable and useful conclusions regarding old-age pensions, though I am not so sure as to unemployment compensation.
Chairman DAVIE. I appreciate Mr. McLogan's remarks, but it appears to me if we are to do that we should take it up at the business session the closing day. I should be disposed to rule any such motion out of order unless there is objection by the membership.
President CRAWFORD. Mr. McLogan might arrange with his committee and a few of the delegates present to take time tomorrow to
consider this matter and be prepared to submit some report to the business session Saturday morning. I am quite sure that there are a number of people here who are sufficiently interested to devote themselves to it.
Mr. McLOGAN. I want to call the attention of Major Newcombe of Manitoba to the fact that we are confronted with this dilemma, that our States must make the age 65 years if they expect to get any reimbursement or matching of funds from the Federal Government. For that reason it would be idle for us to recommend to the States placing the age limit at any other place than 65, because that would cut them off in a year or two from getting any contribution from the Federal Government. The Social Security Act provides that the Federal Government will match dollar for dollar, for any individual receiving old-age assistance, up to a maximum of $30 in any 1 month. With regard to this meeting, I may be optimistic, but it does appear to me that with this analysis a group could sit down and arrive at some conclusions and come back to this body with a concise report. If this body thinks it is not desirable to arrive at any definite conclusions at this session, take the other suggestion that an interim committee be empowered to report back to the executive board. The reason that I insist that it do not take the form of a report back to the next session of this organization is that in 1937--within a few months— almost every State is going to change its old-age assistance laws, and I think we should have some recommendations to submit when the legislatures meet.
Mr. Lubin. In estimating income, Major Newcombe, is the income supposed to be earned income or income from investments, or would you also take into consideration income paid by children? One of our problems has been whether or not that income is to take into consideration the ability of children to support their parents, which in the opinion of many of us should be eliminated from this consideration. The fact that one has children who could afford to support him should not be considered.
Major NEWCOMBE. We did not in the earlier stages of our adminis. tration. Then the Province of Manitoba passed a parents' maintenance act. Ordinarily, if there are children who are earning and who should, all things being considered, be able to make a reasonable contribution, that is taken into account, but we do not press it unduly. We do take into account income on investments.
Supplementary Report and Recommendations of Committee on
BY HARRY R. McLogan, Chairman
After participating in a round-table discussion where the different provisions of the State laws relative to old-age assistance were considered, to the end that old-age assistance laws in the different States may be made more uniform than at present and that certain minimum standards of assistance to the needy aged of the United States may be provided for in such State laws, we respectfully recommend that this Association take action and in turn recommend to the different State legislatures that the herewith submitted provisions be made part of their respective old-age assistance laws.
Mandatory.-We recommend that each State old-age assistance law be mandatory in its operation in each governmental subdivision of the State.
Age requirement.-We recommend that the age requirement be set at 65 years while the age requirement in the Social Security Act remains at 65 years, with a provision automatically reducing the age requirement below 65 years to meet any reduction in the age requirement in the Federal law.
Citizenship.-We recommend that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States, born in the United States, or having resided in the United States at least 25 years.
Residence.-We recommend that applicant must have resided in the State 5 years out of the last 9 years preceding the application, 1 year of which must be immediately preceding the filing of application, and in those States where the source of fund is from the county or local subdivisions, applicant must have resided in the county 1 year immediately preceding the filing of application: Prorided, however, That where recipient, with the consent of State agency, removes to another county of the State, he shall be entitled thereafter to receive assistance from the county from which he has removed for the period of 1 year; and provided further, If applicant has not resided in county 1 year preceding filing of application, but meets the State residence requirement, assistance shall be paid entirely out of State funds.
Social conditions.-(1) Applicant must not receive any other form of relief from State, except hospital, medical, and surgical expenses. (2) Applicant must not, because of physical condition, be in need of continual institutional care.
Limitation on property and income.-(1) Applicant's real property must not erceed $5,000, or personal property must not exceed $500, in addition to an exemption of $500 of household goods. (2) Applicant's income, if single, must aot exceed the maximum amount of assistance allowed, and if married, the income of husband or wife, or both, must not exceed twice the maximum amount of assistacee allowed. (3) Nonincome-producing property owned by applicant shall not te taken into consideration in computing his income.
Maximum and minimum allowances.-We recommend that the maximum allowance of old-age assistance in any State law be not fixed at less than $30 per mouth, and that the minimum assistance granted to any individual be fixed at the sum of $10 per month.
Puneral expenses. We recommend, in addition to the above grant, which is dren to the applicant during his life, that a grant for funeral expenses be allowed Dot to exceed $100.
Fair hearing before State agency.-We recommend that each State law provide for a fair hearing before the State agency which either administers or supervises the administration of the law.
Report to Federal Board.-We recommend that the State law require that the State agency report to the Federal Security Board, so as to enable the State to receive Federal aid.
Provision for reimbursement to Federal Government.--We recommend that the State law provide that 50 percent of whatever is recovered be paid to the United States Government.
Liens on property of applicant.—We recommend that the State law provide for the filing with a court or the register of deeds a certificate showing amount of aid given to the applicant, which becomes a lien on the real estate of the recipient for the total amount of aid granted with interest at 3 percent, and that the applicant be not required to transfer his real estate as a condition precedent to receiving old-age assistance.
Mr. McLOGAN (Wisconsin). In a great many States the Social Security Act has no provisions with reference to county requirements and requires that all who comply with State requirements be eligible for old-age assistance. There has been some difficulty between the counties, and there has been some tendency on the part of recipients to move from one county to another because of higher scales of benefits being given. That is the reason for requiring that they must get the consent of the State agency before removing. Then again, for instance in the law in Wisconsin as well as in many other States, when a person moves out of the county he is no longer a resident of the county, and is automatically cut off before action upon an application in the new county can be had, resulting in a lapse of as much as 3 or 4 months with no assistance.
Mr. LUBIN (Washington, D. C.). What does the Social Security Board do in regard to counties?
Mr. McLogan. It makes no mandatory provision for the State with reference to county residence. Whether or not the county pays the grant is not a question to be determined by the Social Security Board. Of course you do not have this trouble where the source of the funds is entirely State funds, but in the great majority of States where 50 percent is provided by the Social Security Board, the remaining 50 percent is divided between the State and the counties.
We have not attempted here to make every recommendation that would bring the old-age assistance laws up to what we think would be nearly perfect. All we are attempting here is to submit such provisions as will bring the laws much nearer uniformity throughout the Union.
Mr. MagnUSSON (Washington, D. C.). Are those residence requirements you suggest in line with the national act?
Mr. McLogan. Yes; identical.