Bigger Social Security checks in 2019 may not be big enough: AARP

12 Octobre, 2018, 02:40 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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U.S. President Barack Obama recently stated that he can't guarantee retirees will receive their Social Security checks in August if the House and Senate cannot reach an agreement on reducing the deficit. While inflation rose 2.1 percent, the cost of commonly used brand name drugs jumped by an average of 8.4 percent - compounding a trend that has permeated for years.

But the Social Security announcement also serves as the baseline for a host of other federal benefits calculations that do require yearly reauthorization, including Department of Veterans Affairs payouts.

According to a study from the group, the rising costs of prescription drug prices outpaced inflation - on which the cost-of-living adjustment is based - substantially in 2017.

Under current law, annual cost-of-living increases are automatic for Social Security benefits, meaning the executive branch can enact them without intervention from Congress. It will be the largest cost-of-living adjustment for the monthly payments since a 3.6% increase in 2012. The year-over-year increase in August was 2.7%. Seniors count on the money to help keep pace with rising prices for health care and housing.

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Senior advocacy groups hailed the increase but said it still wasn't enough to cover the living costs of older Americans.

Social Security Administration officials said more than 67 million Americans are affected by the change.

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Retired Americans referred to the benefit increase as "small" in a statement on Thursday.

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