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New $1,400 Stimulus Checks If You Are on Social Security?

Recent data have suggested that inflation has continued to surge over the past year and could stay on that path for months or years to come.

In light of this, the Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior group, has launched a petition that is pressing Congress to quickly approve a fourth round of stimulus checks that would send $1,400 direct payments to only beneficiaries of the Social Security program.

As of this writing, the group says it has already garnered more than a million signatures.

“Social Security benefits are one of the few types of income in retirement adjusted for inflation. But soaring inflation has taken a toll on household finances of retired and disabled Social Security recipients,” the group states in its petition.

“In 2021 Social Security benefits increased by just 1.3 percent raising the average benefit by only about $20 a month. But about 86 percent of Social Security recipients surveyed say their expenses increased by much more than that amount. … I strongly urge you that now is the time that you must support an emergency $1,400.00 stimulus check to Social Security recipients,” it continues.

It was also highlighted that the direct cash payments could be used to help pay for groceries. In the worst cases, some seniors are being forced to choose between medicine and food.

Rising Food Prices

According to Cincinnati-based Kroger, the United States’ largest supermarket by sales, inflation is running hotter than previously anticipated. The current expectations are now indicating that grocery prices will rise between 2 percent and 3 percent through the end of the year.

Kroger is “passing along higher cost to the customer where it makes sense to do so,” CFO Gary Millerchip said during a recent earnings call.

Some of the highest prices are being seen among meat products. Beef prices have surged 14 percent this year, pork prices 12.1 percent, and poultry prices 6.6 percent.

COLA Bump

The Senior Citizens League is hoping that Social Security’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) for next year could mollify some of the worries. The latest estimates suggest that at least a 6 percent increase is coming, which would be the highest registered in nearly forty years. Last year, the Social Security COLA only tacked on 1.3 percent.

“With one-third of the data needed to calculate the COLA already in, it increasingly appears that the COLA for 2022 will be the highest paid since 1983 when it was 7.4 percent,” Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League, said in a statement.

Other experts believe that the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to be even more aggressive with its adjustments going forward, as the agency has stated that approximately 20 percent of married couples and 40 percent of singles receive at least 90 percent of their income from the Social Security program.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

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