WHEREAS, there have not been drastic increases in burial and funeral expenses since 1952 when the Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit ("LSDB") was last increased; and
WHEREAS, the Lump Sum Death Benefit's value has been severely diminished by the rate of inflation over a 48 year period; and
WHEREAS, the LSDB was further diminished by a 1981 legislative amendment to the Social Security Act limiting payment of this benefit to a spouse living with the worker at the time of death or a spouse and child receiving benefits under the worker's record; and
WHEREAS, the 1981 legislative amendment eliminated payment of the LSDB directly to a funeral home regardless of who the deceased worker lived with; and
WHEREAS, in many instances, under the current law, the LSDB is no longer paid; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes the dire financial constraints many families endure when a loved one dies; and
WHEREAS, there is no legitimate argument anyone can make to justify the current inadequate LSDB.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon the President of the United States, the Social Security Administration and the United States Congress to initiate a unified effort to immediately enact legislation increasing the LSDB to at least $2,000, as well as amending the current law to include language authorizing benefit payment to a funeral director, any family member or individual who assists with burial expenses.