Social Security Checks for Seniors Down in 2011
Forty-four percent of senior citizens in the United States are receiving Social Security benefits that are less than those they received in 2010 while at the same time expenses for them have gone up steeply.
The statistics have just been released from a yearly survey of American seniors conducted by The Senior Citizens League, a large and non partisan advocacy group for senior citizens in the United States.
25 percent of the senior citizens are receiving benefits that are more than $50 less than before and around ten percent were receiving more than $100 less each month. During this time 61 percent of the seniors said that their basic expenses had gone up by $80 or more each month in comparison to 2010.
Benefits for Social Security are now lower because many recipients have premiums for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D deducted automatically and those payments are now larger.
Usually the federal government gives seniors a yearly Cost Of Living Adjustment or COLA to help balance against increases but, for the second year in a row, the government is not providing a COLA.
The Senior Citizens League chairman, Larry Hyland, says that higher expenses combined with lowered Social Security payments will make life very hard on many seniors. Many seniors will have difficult decisions to make such as cutting back on essential things like utilities and health care.
About 70 percent of the people who receive Social Security depend upon it for at least half of their income or even more. For 15 percent of American senior citizens, Social Security is their only income.