Prices have increased more than six percent left the US compared to this time last year. In periods of high inflation, people with a fixed income, such as Social Security Beneficiaries see their purchasing power decrease, fast. The price of groceries has risen in both September and October 1.2 and 1 percent respectively. Under products, dairy, meat and grains have seen their biggest spike in the past year.
The most recent Household Pulse Survey, conducted between September 29 and October 11, found that: five percent of seniors sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat. In addition, eighteen percent of people over the age of sixty-five reported finding it somewhat or very difficult to cover normal household expenses.
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— AARP Foundation (@AARPFoundation) Nov 4, 2021
A senior interest group, the Seniors League (SCL), has made it clear to the country’s leaders that the 5.9 COLA that will take effect in January 2022 is not enough. Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Health Care Policy Analyst at SCL, recently stated, “Over the past 21 years, COLAs have Social Security benefits by 55 percent but housing costs almost rose 118 percent and health care costs increased by 145 percent over the same period.”
A call for a $1,400 incentive check for people on Social Security
The fact that the benefits have not kept pace with the actual increase in costs has put many beneficiaries in an extremely difficult position vulnerable position.
The SCL calls on Congress to $1,400 stimulus check to all Social Security beneficiaries to help increase their purchasing power. While this check may not help the beneficiaries in the long run, it can help people who are feeling the financial crush of increased inflation.
The organization has also reported that many seniors are “cutting back on their spending on” recipes and groceries, because that’s the last thing they have to dot.” Very worrying for Johnson is the fact that many “split pills, take prescriptions every other day, or just don’t refill prescriptions‘, which ‘is dangerous to health, especially when the drug is essential for conditions such as diabetes’. In addition, 2022 Medicare premiums for Parts A and B have yet to be announced, and many enrollees worry that the premium increase eat most of the COLA.
The fight is brought to Capitol Hill
The average person in Social Security receives a check for about $1,543. The COLA for 2022 is expected to be the average benefit with about $92, which is nowhere near what seniors need to stabilize their financial situation.
In September, the organization launched a online petition to rally support for the issue. In addition, the SCL has established contacts with leaders on Capitol Hill and its “lobbying efforts to get emergency stimulus for Social Security recipients.”