Letter to the Editor

SSI figures were incorrect

Friday, August 18, 2006

To the editor:

The Aug. 7 article by Mark Bliss about the new Missouri Senior Report was informative. Unfortunately, one section of the summary table accompanying the article contained some major errors.

Under the heading "Supplemental Security Income payments as percent of total personal income," the following percentages were shown for the counties in your primary circulation area: Bollinger, 69 percent; Cape Girardeau, 45.2 percent; Perry, 29 percent; and Scott, 81 percent.

According to Tracy Greever Rice of the University of Missouri office that compiled data for the report, the correct numbers are as follows: Bollinger, 0.69 percent; Cape Girardeau, 0.35 percent; Perry, 0.29 percent; and Scott, 0.81 percent.

It is obvious that your staff failed to pick up the decimal point for three of the counties. Apparently some other type of error was made for Cape Girardeau County.

Since eligibility for Supplemental Security Income payments is poverty-related, the numbers you published gave a grossly misleading impression of the extent of poverty among elderly and disabled citizens of these four counties.