$1400 Stimulus Check For Seniors Coming? (SSI, SSDI, VA)

Let’s get into this Social Security update article on the proposed $1400 stimulus check for seniors. Now although pleas for a fourth stimulus check have yet to die down, Washington seems to have lost interest in the idea of another universal cash handout. Yet, the Senior’s Citizens League is hoping lawmakers will at least issue $1,400 checks to the nation’s most vulnerable, that being seniors. The nonpartisan group says that, while Social Security is poised for a big bump next year, it won’t be nearly enough to keep food on the table.

In this article, we will go into what economic factors are causing seniors to suffer, as well as why a $1400 stimulus check would be highly effective in solving many of these issues. First of all, it’s necessary to look at how inflation is affecting purchasing power. Steeper prices for gas, food, cars and countless other things are straining Americans’ wallets, especially seniors with fixed, often modest incomes. The league even goes as far as stating that seniors have been skipping meals and doses of essential medication. Consumer prices spiked this summer at rates not seen since 2008. But as inflation rises, so will Social Security benefits. Advocates predict next year’s cost of living adjustment, or COLA, could range approximately between 6 and 6.2% — the largest boost in nearly four decades.

For the average retiree who received a monthly check of approximately $1,543 this year, a 6.2% rise would increase that payment by $96, to $1,639, in 2022. And for 55 million retirees, that would mean bigger benefit checks each month. Now why exactly is that not the most significant improvement? The bigger checks going forward may be too little, too late. Higher prices have been savaging seniors’ bank accounts for a while, the league says, and last year’s bump only amounted to an extra $20 a month for the average recipient. Many seniors are now deep in debt, and a boost matching the rate of inflation next year will only maintain seniors’ economic status, but not necessarily improve it by a decent enough margin.

According to a recent report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, cost-of-living adjustments also do a poor job of keeping pace with health care hikes and federal taxes. Medicare part B premiums, which are deducted automatically from Social Security benefits, have risen twice as fast as the COLA over the past 20 years. And the threshold at which Social Security benefits get taxed — $25,000 for single taxpayers — isn’t regularly adjusted, meaning more and more recipients are getting taxed over time.

According to researchers, “When the taxation of benefits was first introduced in 1983, only 8% of eligible families paid taxes on their benefits. Today, the estimate is that 56% of beneficiary families pay taxes on their benefits”. Lastly, some low-income seniors are worried that a boost to their taxable income could affect their access to food benefits, rental subsidies and other forms of support. Therefore, a $1400 stimulus check would be one way to provide non-taxable or in other words, consequence-free cash.

Seniors are most highly concerned about the cost of food. In particular, the league says, seniors have identified food as their fastest-growing expense. According to the League, since the beginning of the year, nearly one in five seniors have visited a food pantry or applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Mary Johnson, Social Security policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League, states “It’s highly disturbing that such a large number of survey participants have been forced to access food pantries. Over the past 12 months, the price of bacon is up 11%, beef up 10.6 % and fresh fish up 8.5%”. As a result, one in four seniors have reported going without meat, poultry, fish and dairy. Survey participants added their next-biggest financial concerns were housing and medical bills. At least for now, the Senior Citizens League argues, a $1,400 check would keep people from skipping meals just to afford necessities like home insurance. With one million signatures already on the table, it’s clear that there is already massive support for this cause.

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