Elderly worry how debt crisis will affect Social Security - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Elderly worry how debt crisis will affect Social Security

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Worst case scenario, a national default would be felt at the grocery store, at the mall, and in your mortgage and credit card payments.

The government could also struggle to write checks for things like military pay, and social security.

"What will happen to me, and what will happen to all of my friends," said Connie Roberts, a resident at Fountainbleu Lodge Retirement Home.

Roberts isn't alone. It's a big worry for senior citizens across the county. If government officials can't reach an agreement on the debt ceiling, and are forced to cut programs, which ones will go first? Roberts worries it will be Social Security.

"That's what we depend on, that's all we have," said Roberts.

"Some of the people have no family, they have no place to go," said Kim Dockins, Director of Nursing at Fountainbleu Lodge.

She says she just wants lawmakers to reach a solution that will keep senior citizens safe.

"I don't care if they're Republican or Democrat, they have a mother and father, and don't need to be thrown out in the street," said Dockins.

Cuts to the programs don't just mean senior citizens won't get a check. It means places that serve the elderly, like retirement homes, will have to close.

"If they don't get paid, our business can get affected," said Shafiq Malik, the Administrator at Fountainbleu.

He says 65 percent of the residents depend on Social Security, so without that payroll, he says they would have to close up shop within a month of the program ending.

"It gives me a little goose bumps when I think of the payroll coming up after that, and how I'm going to pay my bills and keep the business running," said Malik.

Another group that might see the effects, The National Guard. An officer at the Cape Girardeau location said they have not heard one way or the other, how this would affect them and their pay if lawmakers cannot reach an agreement.

For now, everyone will just have to wait and see what happens at the Capitol.

"Everybody else has to work together, why can't the government," said Dockins.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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