SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – After the biggest Social Security adjustment announced in 40 years, people in the Miami Valley who receive the benefits are welcoming the news.
In Clark County, nearly 10% of adults 65 and over live below the poverty line. This extra Social Security money is much needed as prices continue to increase.
“I need the money to help with my food bill, the gas bill, they say utilities are going to go up this winter, so we really need this money on our Social Security,” United Senior Services member and volunteer Clara Story said.
United Senior Services in Springfield provides meals, transportation and activities for older adults in Clark County. The agency serves 7,000 older adults in the county each year.
Director of Community Relations Stephanie McCuistion said one third of the county’s population is comprised of adults 55 and over.
“We take very seriously our responsibility to serve older adults, and we’re thrilled to learn of this cost of living increase, it certainly will help our friends and neighbors make ends meet,” McCuistion said.
The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, also known as COLA, for 2022 will be 5.9%.
That’s the highest increase in nearly 40 years, and raises the monthly payment amount by around $100 a month.
McCuistion said this could make a big difference as many older adults live on a fixed income.
“Even living above the poverty level, many of them are not able to comfortably afford the important expenses every day like rent, medicine and groceries,” McCuistion said.
Those who receive Social Security say rising prices are a concern, and they’re thankful they could see a boost in their monthly checks.
“That’s what I live on, I depend on it, and I’m very grateful for it, of course, I paid into it my whole life too,” Springfield resident Samuel Wollum said.
“Means God is good all the time and he don’t want the American people to suffer and do without and we’re just highly blessed to have it,” Springfield resident Samuel Wollum said.
However, some are concerned since 2022 Medicare premiums have yet to be announced, the extra money from Social Security may end up going right back to covering those costs.
“Chances is, by the time that it comes in, it will go directly to my Medicare payment because whatever comes up, comes back down,” Springfield resident George Degenhart said.
Social Security COLA was increased just 1.3% in 2020. Next year’s nearly 6% boost will take effect in January.