Seniors league works on donor’s fears; BBB report shows bad practices

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

You’d better not get in the way of Alice Coulson of Boise. This senior citizen can see right through a shady proposition.

She sent over official looking duplicate copies of materials proposing changes in the social security  checks, known as the Notch Settlement. Notch Notice

“I hope you can warn seniors to this possibly fake league being able to get Congress to make a $5,000 Notch Settlement to any senior,” she says.

The materials from Mrs. Coulson, are just a few the BBB receives about The Senior Citizens League’s mailing on “notch babies.”

Senior Citizens League, a lobbying group for seniors and related issues, asks residents for money to promote the agenda and get more money for retirees. BBB shows the league raised $9 million through these mailings in 2011. TSCL has a  current charity review on file (expires 8/2013) with the Wise Giving Alliance, an organization that produces in-depth evaluative reports on national charities based on comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability.

The SCL supposedly has lobbied for years for social security reform for “Notch baby,” a term used to describe people born between 1917 and 1926. sums the issues:

Changes to the Social Security system in the 1970s introduced cost of living adjustments to benefits. However, the formula was flawed and boosted benefits by more than inflation. With red faces all around, Congress ordered a rethink on the formula. So, the Social Security Administration phased in a new system over five years from 1977.

 As a result, this age group received less than people who benefited from the original, flawed formula. Some new recipients claimed they lost out. A chart graph plotting the benefits shows a deep plunge or a shape of a ‘v’ or a notch.

SCL, also known as the TREA aka Senor Citizens League is one group that has brought this concept to the consciousness of senior citizens and others.

Their mailing, this year, claims more than 100 Congressmen support the Notch Settlement. It also states this is the “final push for passage this  year.”

The direct mailings ask for campaign donations for as much as $50. It does allow citizens to declare they cannot give, but support the cause.

If you give money to a lobby’s cause, the lobbyists could lobby for a long time before getting a response. Also, just because they are lobbying doesn’t mean they will get their bills introduced, read or passed. There are no guarantees you will receive any settlement.

If you, or someone you know, are asked to give, you can check a fundraising organizations at the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance’s page at: or the Secretary of State’s charity division.


1 Comment

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One response to “Seniors league works on donor’s fears; BBB report shows bad practices

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