MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Social Security recipients in Florida and throughout the US will get a modest 1.3% cost-of-living-increase in 2021.
There are approximately 578,891 social security recipients in Florida, according to the latest numbers from the Social Security Administration.
The average increase will amount to a $20 per-month bump for the 70 million seniors and others who collect the benefit.
That would follow this year’s 1.6% increase in the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, according to the Social Security Administration, which announced its 2021 increase on Tuesday. The COLA affects the personal finances of about 1 in 5 Americans, which includes Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.
The economic fallout from the coronavirus has reduced tax collections for Social Security and Medicare, likely worsening their long-term financial condition. While a decline in gas prices has kept inflation low in 2020, that may not reflect seniors’ actual costs, analysts say. Health care expenses such as Medicare premiums have been rising much faster than inflation, a problem for older Americans, who tend to require more medical services than younger people.
“We are looking at a period where there are growing inadequacies in Social Security benefits, particularly for people with lower-to-middle benefits,” said Mary Johnson, an analyst with the nonpartisan Senior Citizens League.
Social Security benefits have lost nearly a third of their buying power since 2000, according to the Senior Citizens League. Next year’s 1.3% boost represents one of the program’s smallest-ever increases, following a meager 0.3% increase in 2016 and three years of no increase in 2009, 2010 and 2015, according to the Social Security Administration.
According to the AARP, the program provides at least 90% of retirement income for 1 in 4 seniors. But there’s been no real discussion of either program in the personally charged election contest between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.