We all know about an online petition that calls on Congress to send $2,000 recurring stimulus checks until the end of the pandemic. Now, one more online petition has been launched, but it asks for coronavirus stimulus checks for seniors.
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The Senior Citizens League, a Virginia-based non-profit, is asking Congress to send $1,400 stimulus checks to Social Security recipients only. For this, the Senior Citizens League has launched an online petition and is asking supporters to back this 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,” the petition says.
The nonpartisan advocacy group claims that the rising cost of goods and services is hurting those with fixed incomes more. As per an estimate from The Senior Citizens League, the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 could be the highest in decades.
This number could be about 6.2% on the basis of the latest Consumer Price Index data, compared to just 1.3% this year. Still, the bump could prove insufficient. Though next year’s bump to benefits is still not known, it is already facing a threat on a couple of fronts.
More Medicare Part B premiums, as well as taxes on benefits, could take away a sizable portion of next year’s adjustments. The Medicare “Part B” premium for outpatient coverage is estimated to increase by $10 a month next year to $158.50.
Moreover, senior citizens are already under pressure from other unavoidable (and rising) costs, including transportation, housing and food.
Senior Citizens League Sees Growing Support For Its Petition
Last week, the advocacy group sent an email to supporters, informing them of their plan to launch an online petition. The email was an instant hit, and the group got more than 100 replies from seniors who shared their stories.
Over 50 replies noted cutting down to one meal a day to be able to afford groceries. Also, many mentioned cutting back on prescription drugs. A survey by the advocacy group, released in August, found that 44% of older households saw food as the fastest growing cost this year, followed by housing (24%) and medical (19%).
Another alarming piece of data comes from the annual trustees report. The report claims that Social Security’s massive trust fund won’t be able to finance full benefits by 2034, compared to an earlier estimate that put the end date 2035.
Thus, to ensure that seniors don’t have to face financial distress, the Senior Citizens League is asking for $1,400 stimulus checks. These checks could ensure extra non-taxable income to seniors. Also, it could make up for the higher costs that some would be facing after next year’s COLA pushes them into a higher tax bracket.