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Debt ceiling a worry for senior citizens and veterans

With Congress at a standstill, seniors worry about the future of Social Security and Medicare.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — The U.S hit its debt limit of 31.4 trillion dollars more than five months ago, and since then talks to raise the country's debt ceiling have been at a standstill

Congressional leaders are optimistic a decision will be made soon, but there are concerns that programs like Social Security and Medicare will need to be changed.

Changes that could heavily affect groups like senior veterans.

"You know they are in the back end of their life, this is an earned thing that they've paid into and now this could be a threat of them not getting paid," said David Ragan the President of Veterans Promise a veterans advocacy group located in Lackawanna County.  

"I mean this could be the difference of people getting food on the table, being able to eat, or put clothes on their back."

Ragan says the area's senior veteran population is growing and many rely on these kinds of programs.

"We can't have things that are a long staple for you know people that have paid into social security you know military disability benefits those things should never be affected by budgetary items," said Ragan.

"We put into it all our lives why should we have it cut now," said Eugene Wasczcak.

Wasczcak served in the Vietnam War and currently relies on both Social Security and Medicare.

He says it's hard enough now to get the right kind of treatment.

"It helps me make my ends meet, I mean I get a disability, without the Social Security I'd be in a world of hurt again," said Wasczcak.

The deadline for a decision in Washington is June 1st.

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