Will Social Security increase cover expenses? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Will Social Security increase cover expenses?

Kay Hind Kay Hind

Social Security benefits are going up 1.5%, about $19 in 2014. The annual cost of living adjustment is based on a government measure of inflation. But are the benefits keeping up with the cost of living and tax contributions? Some local seniors say the numbers don't add up.

For many a normal day of shopping doesn't take a second thought but for some local senior's it's a very different story. Kay Hind with SOWEGA says any increase to social security benefits is better than none but those who live in subsidized housing won't see a positive affect .  "When their income goes up their rent goes up so a lot of times its not much a benefit to them."   

Forbes report says most retirees will actually come out a bit ahead in 2014 but Colleen Chappell, who has been volunteering at the Albany Senior Center for 17 years, says otherwise.

"My AARP medicare supplement policy is going up $27, and my prescription plan is going from $5 and something to $15 and something," said Chappell.  

Many people rely on the local programs for seniors just to get by.   "A lot of people we serve use the food bank, senior center, meals on wheels that's a large part of their living expense," Hind said.       

Robert Palmer says the benefits don't keep up with the rising cost of living.   "They give with one hand and take it back with the other hand it's been that way for years it's not going to change unless people say enough is enough"  

Although many say an increase is better than nothing it isn't enough to stay up with the forecasted future.  

"We are expecting another cut for the sequestration and unless that's changed it will go on for nine more years."  

Hind says they will do their best not to cut from the programs that help the senior citizens of this area but will have to tighten their belts none the less.    

There is some good news, a new senior center being built in Albany should open at the end of December.

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