Millions of senior citizens may receive lower social security payments next year

Alan Wu

September 23, 2010

A survey conducted by the nonpartisan Senior Citizens League estimates that 23 million senior citizens may experience a cut in their social security payments by 2011, which accounts for approximately 66 percent of the senior citizens who collect social security.

These findings were determined by interviews with over 2,400 senior participants, half of whom claimed to be receiving lower benefits due to Medicare deductions caused by a lack of cost of living allowances (COLA), which has been excluded from plans for the first time in 35 years.

Of those surveyed, 47 percent said that their social security benefits were reduced by at least $132 this year.

This trend appears to be continuing into 2011, as the Congressional Budget Office and Social Security Trustees have determined that inflation will be too low for COLA payments. Meanwhile, health expenses are projected to still rise.

"Another year of no COLA will put Social Security benefits through the wringer," Larry Hyland, chairman of The Senior Citizens League, said in a statement. "After paying their Medicare health insurance premiums, seniors will have even less to spend on other essentials."

The fluctuations of these prices could make hospital stays harder to afford for many. Seniors may want to consider installing a personal emergency response system in their home, so that they can be safe without staying in a hospital after a procedure, as these devices will allow older adults to immediately contact physicians.

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