Social Security beneficiaries stressed about budget crisis

Rose Mary Balderas, 79, recently retired after many years of working as licensed vocational nurse.

Now she and her husband, who suffers from Parkinson TMs, are living-off their Social Security checks.

However on Monday, Balderas walked into the Rio Grande Valley Loaves and Fishes looking for computer training, which she hopes will help her find a job.

"It's very stressful and I TMm sure a lot of people like me are going through it," Balderas said. If they take my Social Security I have nothing."

By early Monday Balderas had already been the second person to visit the shelter, worried about losing Social Security benefits, given the budget crisis in Washington.

Executive Director Bill Reagan said they've seen an increase in demand for services - from having their women's shelter at full-capacity with women and children to serving 1,000 more meals this summer than last year. Reagan predicts it's only the beginning.

"Unemployment benefits are running out and there are going to be a lot more people that were able to get by in recent years with unemployment benefits, who are going to see themselves without those benefits,

Reagan said. And they are going to be coming to us for help for rent, utilities, shelter and meals."

Balderas said she never thought she'd go through a situation like this especially at this stage of their life.

"I feel that if this had happened to me say 20 years ago, it wouldn't have bothered me so much," she said.

It TMs a stressful situation she no longer wants to worry about, and hopes legislators get on the ball.

"They are just dragging this out, Balderas said, and they just don TMt know what an impact it's having on other people."