Some Social Security recipients happy about upcoming increase, but worried it’s not enough

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) 70 million Americans will see an increase in their monthly social security benefits.

They will get a nearly 6% cost of living increase next year. But it also happens as some items get more expensive due to inflation.

The nearly 6% Cost Of Living Adjustment, or COLA, increase will be the largest in about four decades. People we talked with say they’re glad it’s going up, but also wonder how far it will go.

“I think it’s well needed, especially for seniors because we are on a fixed income,” says Shelby Compton of Owensboro.

The Social Security Administration says the increase will lead to an average monthly payout of $92 a month to $1,657. A couple’s benefits will rise an average of $154 to $2,753. The COLA increase happens as some things get more expensive because of inflation. The U.S. Dept. of Labor says the consumer price index is more than five percent higher than this time last year.

“Groceries are going up, gasoline is going up,” says Jimmy Russelburg of Owensboro. “Everything has gotten a lot more expensive more so than usual, quicker than usual.”

“Inflation is bad and I need the extra money to pay my bills, and to get medicine and buy groceries,” adds Marilyn Myers of Owensboro.

Social Security funds are expected to be depleted by 2033, unless Congress takes action. At the Senior Community Center Of Owensboro–Daviess County, some seniors say it will make paying for the increasing cost of basic needs a little easier, even if its impact isn’t as big as some hope for.

“It will come in one hand and out the other. But every little bit helps, and I’m thankful that we can do as well as we can do,” says Compton.

Social Security recipients will find out exactly how much their increase will be by the end of this year.

(This story was originally published on October 14, 2021)

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