Nearly Half of
Senior Citizens Receiving Smaller Social Security Checks in 2011
New survey finds
lack of COLA hurting seniors as over 60% see their expenses rise,
Medicare premiums reduce checks
Feb. 3, 2011 -
Forty-four percent of seniors are receiving lower Social Security checks
this year compared to 2010, while even more are dealing with
significantly higher expenses. The findings come from an annual survey
of elderly Americans, released earlier today by The Senior Citizens
League (TSCL), which claims to be one of the nation's largest
nonpartisan senior citizens advocacy groups.
receiving lower checks, one in four report receiving at least $50 less
per month, and one in nine are receiving at least $100 less per month.
At the same
time, nearly two-thirds of seniors (61 percent) estimate their expenses
have increased by at least $80 per month compared to last year.
checks are lower because many seniors have their Medicare Part D or
Medicare Advantage premiums automatically deducted, and these premiums
have increased in many cases. An annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
typically offsets such premium increases, but seniors are not receiving
a COLA for the second year in a row.
of lower benefits and higher expenses means many more seniors will have
a hard time making ends meet this year," said Larry Hyland, chairman of
The Senior Citizens League. "More of them will have to make very
difficult choices and cut back on basic things such as health care and
percent of beneficiaries depend on Social Security for 50 percent or
more of their income. Social Security is the sole source of income for
15 percent of beneficiaries.
emergency COLA legislation and opposes any deficit reduction proposals
that would cut the COLA.
In a news
release on December 29, 2010, the TSCL predicted financial problems
ahead for older Americans:
“For the second year in a row,
there's no annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to boost Social
Security benefits. Rising Medicare premiums will shrink the Social
Security benefits of an estimated 25 million seniors, says The Senior
Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors
"’If that isn't bad enough, when
rising cost-sharing and coverage changes are added, some of the oldest
and sickest seniors may find they need as much as half of their Social
Security benefits just to cover healthcare costs in 2011,’ says TSCL
Chairman, Larry Hyland.
"’Seniors have to pay more, but they
have less to do it with,’ Hyland says. ’And this could become our new
norm in the near future,’ he notes.
“’Many seniors are still learning
about some hefty new increases in their Part D or Medicare Advantage
plans. A host of changes to the plans will affect what seniors pay
out-of-pocket in 2011. "And for the unsuspecting who failed to check
the cost details last year, the jump may be pretty big, including the
loss of coverage for certain drugs and some extra benefits,’ says
METHODOLOGY: TSCL says the
survey was conducted through print and electronic surveys from December
13, 2010, through January 31, 2011. It had 1,253 Social Security
Citizens League claims 1.2 million supporters, and says it is one of the
nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Its mission is to promote
and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens
about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and
defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior
Citizens League also says it “is a proud affiliate” of The Retired
Enlisted Association. Visit
www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information.
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