Seniors react to coming raise in Social Security checks

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 3:59 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Millions of you are getting an almost nine percent increase on your social security checks. Will the bump help when it comes to inflation and medical expenses?

At first they couldn’t believe it, and once the news settled in, they began to start thinking how the increase can help them in the very near future.

At the Holt Senior Center, Sadie Jackson and Constante Long, along with their friends spent the better part of Thursday morning chatting away about the latest social security news.

Sadie Jackson is 82 years old, retired more than 20 years ago as a government inspector. Jackson more than welcomes the increase of 8.7 percent in her monthly check.

“More money in my pocket. I wouldn’t say surprised, but it’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited about it,” said Jackson.

And Jackson’s not alone. Long is 64 years old.

“I was excited about it because inflation. I went to the store this morning and the a stick of butter went up about three dollars. Everything is so high,” said Long.

Therein lies the reason behind the raise - inflation. The average social security check will increase around $144. Multiply that times 12 and it comes to more than $1,700 more per year. Jackson and Long say they’re not sure yet if this will cover all their bills, but they have no doubt the increase will help.

“Do whatever it takes. If it means medications or whatever, just go for it,” she said.

“Oh yes, it’s going to help, but you know the thing is I just got to manage it right. Pay off some bills. I am trying to pay off some bills so I can breathe a little bit,” said Long.

The increase in social security is the largest since 1981. Dr. Jeremy Thornton of Samford University says raising the monthly checks for the 66 million recipients just made sense.

“And so to represent that social security payments need to rise by that amount, and the idea behind that is to keep the purchasing power of those government payments level,” said Thornton.

As the old saying goes, ‘every little bit helps’ whether it’s with bills or meals. Here at the Holt Senior Center, seniors such as Jackson and Long pay only pay $1.25 a day for lunch five days a week.

“Any time you get more money in your pocket it’s excitement,” Long said.

Retirees such as Sadie Jackson and Constante Long can start budgeting now because they’ll see their higher social security checks in January.

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