Local Seniors Prepare For No Social Security Bump

Westchester Residents Say Every Last Bit Would've Helped

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Seniors on Social Security are being told to hunker down and get by with what they already collect.

The federal government has all but ruled out a cost of living adjustment for the coming year. It’s the second year in a row benefits have remained frozen at their current level.

CBS 2’s Lou Young was in Westchester County on Monday as seniors prepared to tighten their belts.

In her tiny one-bedroom apartment retiree Lillian Hunt said she could’ve used a benefit hike this year, after consolidating her bills and counting every buck to make ends meet.

“Any dollar would’ve made a big difference. Anything, compared to what I have now,” Hunt told Young.

Social Security said there will be no cost-of-living hike this year because inflation is too low. The folks paying the bills point out, though, that some important commodities have gone up.

“Food, gas, transportation, that’s the most important things you got to get to live by,” White Plains resident Cristine Jackson said, adding when asked how she felt about it, “It’s sad, isn’t it?”

It’s actually a matter of mathematics. The cost of living adjustment is tied to the consumer price index. This is the second year in a row there’s been no hike in benefits. Last year, you’ll recall, President Barack Obama sent Social Security recipients a one-time $250 stimulus check to make up part of the difference. People said it was a big help.

“It came in handy for a last bill,” Ora Mae Wilson of Mount Vernon, a woman who collects cans and bottles on the weekend for extra spending money.

People are doing what they got to do.

“It’s okay by me. We all got to do our part because we’re in debt so far that our grandchildren will never be able to bail out,” said Jim Branco of Mount Vernon.

A cost of living hike would’ve been nice, but tough times are tough times.

Consumer price figures will be officially released at the end of the week.

More from Lou Young
  • E. Chancellor

    I share your feeling on ssa. They dont realize how tough people have it living off social security. That month to month stuff stinks cause all your bills are centered around you getting that one check a month. After you pay those you are broke until the next month. The hike would help because at least you would have a little and I do mean a little to carry you to the next month. So yes I agree somthing needs to be done. How about put them on a little check once a month and see how they would survive with no raise in sight.

  • D. Savino

    Well, it’s NOT OK by me! How about if those spoiled arrogant millionaire politicians live on what you or I get a year? They are clueless about the average person”s life. Tell me all the ways in which your cost of living HAS gone up. Those jerks probably don’t even know what a can of coffee costs, or a bottle of aspirin, or a gallons of gas – that’s cause WE pay for those things. They should get the same health care that they think is so great for us. But no, they don’t want that – and again we pay!!! Tell me that’s OK with you? I think we should kick the bums out!. Seniors call your reps in DC and SHOUT your outrage!! I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!! How ’bout you?.

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