Group calls for $1,400 incentive checks for Social Security recipients – Community News
Stimulus Check

Group calls for $1,400 incentive checks for Social Security recipients

An office of the Social Security Administration in San Francisco.

Getty Images

The Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2022 could be the largest in decades.

However, according to The Senior Citizens League, an impartial advocacy group, that increase to monthly checks will not be enough.

In a letter sent this week to members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the group calls for new $1,400 incentive checks to be mailed to Social Security beneficiaries in one lump sum.

“We believe a special incentive for Social Security recipients could help cover the higher costs some would incur if next year’s COLA thrusts them into a higher tax bracket, driving higher tax rates on their income and surcharges on their income. Medicare Part B premiums are emerging,” said the letter, signed by Richard “Rick” Delaney, president of The Senior Citizens League.

Next year, Social Security’s COLA is expected to be at least 6%, driven by rising consumer prices. That would be much higher than the 1.3% increase that beneficiaries saw in their monthly checks this year.

But that more generous raise may not be enough to help recipients, some of whom have had to cut back on their food spending or seek help from food pantries or supplemental nutritional aid programs, according to The Senior Citizens League.

In addition to the one-off payments, the group is advocating changes to the method by which the annual COLA is calculated. The Social Security Administration currently uses the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and white-collar workers to determine those changes. Also known as the CPI-W, it tracks the expenses of those who earn hourly wages or work in administrative jobs.

More from Personal Finance:
Here are the changes that may occur to your Social Security benefits:
This is the age at which Americans say they plan to retire
The cost of living adjustment to Social Security could be at least 6% by 2022

However, another measure, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, would more accurately reflect the costs faced by seniors, the group says.

The Senior League is also calling for legislation to ensure Social Security can continue to pay benefits for the next 75 years. The Social Security Administrators’ annual report recently showed that the combined trust funds used to pay retirement and disability benefits will be exhausted by 2034, at which point only 78% of promised benefits will be paid.

Plans proposed by President Joe Biden during his election campaign, and by certain members of Congress, include similar goals.

The Senior Citizens League’s campaign for the fourth senior stimulus check began in September and includes an online petition.