The boosted Social Security 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023 is historic and much-needed though some say is insufficient for the most vulnerable older Americans.
Is The Social Security Benefits Are Enough For Vulnerable Seniors?
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) boosted to 8.7%, but along with it the prices also soared up where millions of older Americans who face skyrocketing basic needs such as housing and medical care that inflict pressure on seniors most especially those who only depend on SS benefits.
Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League said that they received emails from elderly people saying that “they had cut down to one meal a day, they could not afford to pick up their prescriptions, or they couldn’t afford to get to doctor’s appointments because of cost of gas or tires for their vehicles.”
In 2022, Retirees received a COLA increase of 5.9% and this year, Senior Citizens League increases the average retiree benefit of $1,656 by an additional $144.10. However, despite the adjustments, the Senior Citizen League also calculates Social Security benefits are losing short by nearly 50%. The average monthly benefit of $1,656 is short about $44 per month, a total of $418 per year to date.
The National Council On Aging (NCOA)
The national voice for every person’s right to age well is known as The National Council on Aging or NCOA. The nonprofit advocate for older Americans deemed the 8.7 percent hike insufficient to meet the growing cost of aging. Moreover, Those same seniors are faced with rising housing and health care bills, inadequate nutrition, and lack of access to transportation. and job loss, according to the NCOA.
Social Security benefits support fisting to 16.1 million older adults above the federal poverty level. In the most recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll, 68% of those surveyed age 55 and older said inflation was the No. 1 problem facing the U.S. today.
The Senior Citizens League noted that “A COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) of 8.7% is extremely rare and would be the highest ever received by most Social Security beneficiaries alive today.”
“Regardless of all that, the boosted COLA is very much anticipated and very much looked forward to,” Johnson said. “Social Security is one of the, if not the only form of retirement income adjusted for inflation.”
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