03 May, 2009

Social Security Benefits Not Expected to Rise for nearly three years

Social Security Benefits Not Expected to Rise in ’10 - NYTimes.com

So the Congressional Budget Office has predicted that for the next two years, people who receive social security benefits will receive no increase at all, and a very small increase in the third year. This means that the amount of money I receive now from my social security disability payment will remain the same at least until the year 2012 and then only rise by a few dollars in 2013:
Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, predicted that inflation would remain low for several years, so Social Security might not pay a cost-of-living increase until January 2013. President Obama’s budget assumes no increase in 2010 or 2011, then a 1.4 percent COLA in 2012.
Could you imagine earning the same exact wage for three consecutive years in a row? The economy is supposedly supposed to be recovered from this "recession" that we're in by the end of this year. If that's the case, then why no increase for 2011?

The New York Times article also points out other dangers to recipients of Social Security benefits: increased medical premiums (including prescription drug co-pays, which are almost as high as paying for the cost of prescriptions themselves, when one takes into account the cost of the Part D monthly premium). And this statement outlines part of the problem:
Most people on Medicare have Part B premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security checks. These premiums have historically increased much faster than Social Security benefits.
I remember one year when my net benefit actually decreased due to a higher increase in my Medicare premium than I had received in my basic social security benefit itself.

And yet, I still can earn only $900/month and retain my benefits. The minute I earn over $900 in any one month, I lose all of my benefits, including medical insurance. And that's just something that I can't afford to do.

There are serious problems with Social Security, especially as it relates to persons receiving benefits who are disabled. These issues need to be addressed, and they need to be addressed now, before next year's budget is signed into law. I urge all of you to contact your Congressional representatives and let them know that you don't think it's fair that the disabled and elderly be penalized.

To find out who represents you in federal government and how to contact them, visit Congress.org.