A senior citizen’s group is calling on Congress to approve new $1,400 stimulus checks for a group of people who’ve been left out of the stimulus check series that continues on Friday, as well as from various state stimulus payment efforts. The advocacy group is the Senior Citizens League, and it’s asking Congress to earmark stimulus checks specifically for Social Security recipients. One of the reasons is that, even with the just-announced record-high cost of living increase to Social Security benefits in 2022, rising prices taking a bite out of household budgets will offset that increase.
New stimulus check for Social Security recipients?
“We believe that a special stimulus for Social Security recipients could help defray the higher costs some would face if next year’s COLA bumps them into a higher tax bracket, causing higher tax rates on their income and surcharges to their Medicare Part B premiums,” reads a letter the league sent to members of Congress this week.
Again, the gist of the letter is a call for new $1,400 stimulus checks for Social Security beneficiaries. That letter comes the same week as the Social Security Administration, on Wednesday, announced that benefit recipients would get an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 5.9% in 2022. That’s the biggest increase since 1982. And it will give Social Security beneficiaries an estimated $92 extra each month. That, in turn, would bump up their monthly estimated pay to $1,657 next year.
Still, as welcome as the news is about that increase? It doesn’t mean those seniors will exactly be flush with tons of disposable income now. Inflation will most assuredly take a bite out of that increase in benefits. Indeed, it’s the cause of that increase.
Regarding the stimulus checks that the Senior Citizens League has asked for, the group’s campaign began in September. There’s also an online petition the group prepared. It reads: “I (and/or my spouse) want Social Security recipients to receive a $1,400.00 emergency stimulus check to cope during this unprecedented inflationary year.
“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.”
For another example of what those inflationary fears look like, translated to the real world? We wrote recently about Dollar Tree raising prices, as a direct response to an increase in the costs of goods that the store pays. Dollar Tree, of course, put itself on the map with a simple proposition — everything priced at $1 or less. But last month, Dollar Tree estimated that shipping increases might take up to $1.60 out of its per-share profits.
Part of what’s going on here, in other words, is Dollar Tree paying more for products it sells.