Social Security’s move forces local retiree back to work

BLASDELL, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 60 million Americans who depend on Social Security as a form of income will not be seeing a cost-of-living increase for only the third time since 1975.

Two of those are Arlene Putnam and Bob Ball, of Blasdell.

Ball has spent the past several days filling out job applications, because it seems with this latest blow to his monthly check, he’ll have to return to work at age 69.

Ball has been out of the workforce for two years after spending five decades as a salesman.

And like millions of Americans in his situation, he paid into Social Security during his working years with the expectation of a promise the money would be there when he needed it.

After surgeries on his heart and brain, and medications he takes to stay alive, he needs it now more than ever.

Instead of spending his time in retirement how he chooses, Ball spends his days filling out applications, and attending job interviews.

He says it’s not that he can’t work. It’s just that, after 50 years in the workforce, Ball says he shouldn’t have to.

“I helped everybody. I helped my fellow workers,” Ball said. “Now, when I need help from the government, it’s a different story.

“But 1.8 (percent increase last year) and then nothing?” he continued. “To us, this isn’t a joke. It’s very sad. It’s a sad day when you put money in and they tell you they can’t pay you back.”

Ball says he has a few bites from prospective employers. And he’s willing to do what it takes to make ends meet and to help provide a life for he and Arlene, who have been together for 23 years. But he believes at age 69, age isn’t working in his favor. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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