The Philadelphia Inquirer today notes that “if you or a loved one is on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income and that $250 stimulus payment for each beneficiary has not arrived by check or direct deposit, visit socialsecurity.gov online or call 800-772-1213. Start inquiring on June 4.
Medicaid patients in nursing homes may keep their $250, which will not be counted as income for Medicaid purposes. Hang up on anyone calling to help you get the payment. Don’t spend it all in one place.
Second, you may have heard that the government has decided inflation is so low that for the first time there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA (increase) in Social Security benefits for the next two years. Former Deputy Social Security Commissioner Andrew Biggs says this news is not all bad because benefits will remain the same while the cost of living is less, which means many beneficiaries will still be ahead. However, many retirement experts have suggested the cost-of-living index for older people should be higher than the rest of the population, in large part because of out-of-pocket medical and drug costs.
Barbara Kennelly of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare says that “zero COLAS would also mean no Medicare Part B premium increases” for most beneficiaries, for, by law, Social Security benefits may not decrease for current beneficiaries. However, new and affluent beneficiaries will be subject to the higher Part B premiums. And Part D premiums, which are expected to rise by 11 percent, she said, will continue to shred the already-tattered budgets of many older Americans.” Link to story here: