How COLA Fails American Seniors

COLA fails older Americans
Via Pixabay

The annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) is intended to keep Social Security benefits in line with current costs. Unfortunately, this increase is not enough. While the yearly adjustment is supposed to keep up with inflation, the amount increased each year is too small to make much of a difference in the true cost of living. The 2021 COLA was an embarrassing 1.3 percent, and the amount for 2022 was significantly more but still didn’t come close to the extreme inflation Americans are dealing with now.

COLA Increase and Seniors

The Cost of Living Adjustment has failed seniors for years. The problem is the method used to determine the increase. COLA is based on projected inflation rates for the year. It does not, however, take into consideration all actual costs for seniors. For example, the increase does not properly consider things like rising medical costs and medicare premium increases. For example, the COLA for 2021 was only 1.3 percent while 816 drugs had increased by an average of 4.5% in January 2021 alone. Furthermore, while the COLA for 2022 is the highest it has been in 30 years, medicare Part B premiums are seeing an all-time record increase.

How Much is the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2022?

The COLA for 2022 is 5.9 percent. This is a significant step up from the 1.3 percent increase in 2021. However, out-of-control inflation overshadows this increase. On paper, the COLA is more than the projected 2022 inflation, but, again, this does not take into consideration actual costs for seniors. These projections are based on the Consumer Price Index which does not accurately reflect increases for older Americans. Retirees who rely on Social Security need to see a change that takes their needs into account.

What Would Change Under the Greatest Generation Benefits Act?

Under The Greatest Generation Benefits Act, seniors over age 82 would receive an additional $85 per month. This is more than the amount they would receive with just the 2022 COLA. Additionally, these seniors would receive a 4 percent increase every year moving forward. This is the change so many of our great Americans need and would ensure that members of the greatest generation finally get what they have earned. Please help us make this change a reality by signing our petition to Congress.

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