The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the largest nonpartisan senior citizens advocacy groups, currently has a petition to garner support and attention for an emergency $1,400 stimulus check to cope with unprecedented inflation.
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The petition 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.”
Among the arguments in the petition is that the COLA increases are not suitable enough for seniors living on a fixed income with the 5% inflation surge experienced over the past 13 months. The petition adds, “In 2021 Social Security benefits increased by just 1.3% raising the average benefit by only about $20 a month. But about 86% of Social Security recipients surveyed say their expenses increased by much more than that amount.”
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One of the sectors that has experienced the greatest increase in prices is the meat industry. Although overall inflation has come in around 5%, prices for chicken have increased 7.2%, pork prices are up 9% and prices for ground beef are nearly up a whopping 13% from last year.
A $1,400 check could help senior citizens afford groceries on an already tight fixed income. Roughly 25% of low-income seniors reported food insecurity, according to SNAP research.
Social Security recipients are expected to receive a 6% COLA increase in 2022 — one of the largest on record — but rising inflation and Medicare costs are thought to eat away at most of it. A fourth stimulus check could help struggling seniors recover from a year of surging prices and supply chain blockages that are still hurting the prospect of recovery for basic grocery items.