5/23/2017

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Social Security Benefits

No Cost Of Living Increase For 2016

For the third time since 2010, the Social Security Administration has decided not to give a cost of living adjustment (increase) in benefit payments due in part to the way the government measures inflation.

Since inflation has been kept under control due to lower gasoline prices and declines in the overall prices of goods and services, beneficiaries will not get an increase of benefits in 2016.

Millions of Social Security beneficiaries will be affected by the government's decision not to give a cost of living increase. Although low inflation is good news for financial markets, the lack of a cost of living adjustment may not bode well for the millions of senior citizens, disabled veterans, federal retirees, and the poor who depend on Social Security for a large portion of their incomes.

Healthcare costs is a major concern for many Medicare recipients who will feel the pinch because there will still be higher premiums for Medicare coverage next year. The lack of a cost of living increase will add additional stress to an already hefty burden due to healthcare and other financial issues for seniors.

The formula used by the government to determine whether or not to give cost of living increases is already under scrutiny by many advocacy groups that work to protect senior citizens' rights and causes.

Rising costs, not just for healthcare, but for everyday living expenses, is a major concern for seniors. Food, housing, energy, transportation, clothing, medical care, recreation, and other costs are all taken into consideration when calculating how much it takes for seniors, retirees, the disabled, the poor, and others who depend on Social Security for their livelihoods.

On average, a monthly Social Security payment is around $1,200. If a person doesn't have other retirement funds or other streams of income, this amount will put him or her well below the national poverty level.

For more information about the changes to Social Security benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or contact your local Social Security Administration Office.

 

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