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Resolution to Re-affirm the 2001 Policy to Increase the Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefits

WHEREAS, there have 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 her 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.

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