Whereas the possibilities of a fourth stimulus test being despatched to the hundreds of thousands of households that obtained the primary three are dwindling, help for a brand new extra focused test is gaining reputation on the grassroots degree.
The Senior Residents League (SCL), a corporation that advocates for the rights of seniors argue that the federal authorities ought to ship $1,400 to Social Security beneficiaries who’ve seen their disposable incomes plummet in the course of the pandemic.
For lots of the greater than 64 million folks who obtain Social Security, the advantages are their solely supply of earnings. This determine represents one in each six People and 4 out of 5 seniors.
To know how seniors, notably these depending on Social Security advantages have faired in the course of the pandemic, the SCL performed a survey the place they requested seniors to report on their spending habits and financial considerations.
The outcomes have been alarming.
Throughout the survey, 1 / 4 of seniors reporting searching for support from a meals financial institution as a result of they have been unable to afford groceries as costs surged. Mary Johnson, a coverage analyst with SCL described this as “extremely disturbing” and stated that it exemplified “the dire state of affairs confronted by households of those that rely upon Social Security for many of their earnings when meals costs bounce into overdrive.”
Whereas a Price-of-living-adjustment shall be introduced subsequent month, with many believing it might be historic in dimension, advocates don’t consider that it’s going to remedy the issue.
A $1,400 test may assist cowl housing, medical, and dietary prices, and provides many households an opportunity to deliver their heads above water. It will additionally alleviate a few of the ache in stress current for a lot of seniors, of which twenty-five p.c reported going with out meals to make their incomes final them your complete month.
Why is the fourth stimulus for seniors wanted?
To obtain these advantages, one can not work, making their earnings mounted. Throughout the pandemic, provide chains broke down, inflicting bottlenecks that restricted the availability of products, resulting in an enhance in value.
The costs for fundamental items — meals, gasoline, clothes are all up considerably over their pre-pandemic ranges and seniors are beginning to really feel the ache.
Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics launched a report displaying that over the past 12 months, the Shopper Value Index for “all gadgets index elevated 5.3 p.c earlier than seasonal adjustment.” For meals, individuals are on common 3 p.c greater than they have been a 12 months ago, as for different items, the developments are simply as worrisome.
Will the measure be taken up by Congress?
To garner help and a spotlight, the SCL launched a petition which has gained over a million signatures. The petition reads “I (and/or my partner) need Social Security recipients to obtain a $1,400.00 emergency stimulus test to manage throughout this unprecedented inflationary 12 months. Social Security advantages are one of many few forms of earnings in retirement adjusted for inflation.”
It additionally argues that the COLA will increase will not be adequate, saying, “In 2021 Social Security advantages elevated by simply 1.3 p.c elevating the common profit by solely about $20 a month. However about 86 p.c of Social Security recipients surveyed say their bills elevated by rather more than that quantity.”
So far, no lawmakers have responded to the petition or introduced up the measure. As negotiations over infrastructure, the reconciliation invoice, and the debt ceiling suck up all of the air within the Capitol, it’s unlikely this measure makes it onto the legislative agenda.