CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday, the government announced people who receive social security benefits will see a two-percent increase.
Denise Pronovost of Chicopee says, “I’ve seen it personally with my mom. They tell you its a cost of living increase. They give you a little bit in your monthly check, then they end up increasing the rent, of where ever the elder is living and they increase the medicare amount coming out of your social security check.”
About 59 million people collect social security benefits each month. Most recipients are over 65. But some people who are disabled and orphans, also receive benefits. The bigger checks aim to help offset the rising cost of living. Bottom line is they really end up with no increase at all. The average monthly check is estimated to see about a 27 dollar increase.
Rich Pearson told 22News, “It’s not going to buy me much. It might buy me a small bag of groceries.”
There hasn’t been an increase greater than 2-percent, since 2012. Leaving many people saying they’re struggling to keep up with their bills. In 2012, retirees got a three-point-six percent raise. The annual cost of living adjustment was introduced in 1975.
Some people told 22News, the system is antiquated. Pearson says, “They’re using a 1975 formula and it’s 2017. 40 years later. It needs to be adjusted.”
And with the rising cost of living expenses and health insurance, some say, its just not enough.
Pronovost says, “Maybe an increase in prescription cost. Even though they have insurance, it doesn’t really cover the increases that you see through everything else.”
One in four older Americans say they struggle to pay for their prescription drugs. Benefits holders can expect to see that 2-percent increase next year.