Seniors want COLA

Published 1:01 am Friday, October 16, 2009

SELMA — Social Security recipients will not receive a cost of living raise this year.

President Barack Obama has asked for stimulus payments of $250, but no other increases are planned.

This is the first time since 1975 Social Security recipients haven’t received their cost of living allowance.

Local seniors aren’t happy.

Marjorie Church learned about the lack of increase while listening to her radio.

“I’ve been fussing at my radio all day,” Church said. “I’ve been in a bad mood ever since I’ve heard it.”

This month, Church’s health insurance bills increased $20, and her house payment cost rose as well.

“Everything I pay went up,” Church said. “I thought about making copies of everything and sending it to them so they can see how much things cost me. I had a broken foot, and I had to go back to work before the doctor would let me because I needed the work.”

Jerry Givan relies only on his social security checks each month.

“I’m just going to have to cut back,” Givan said. “Ain’t nothing I can do about it, and ain’t no job to be found.”

Everyone needs to make sacrifices, according to Steve Grossman.

“The truth is, the economy is stretched think and if it means social security recipients are going to make their sacrifices, then that what it’s going to be,” Grossman said.

Payments increased by 5.8 percent in January, the highest increase since 1982, to level out the upsurge in energy prices in 2008.

On average, each social security recipient is given $1,094 monthly.

The New York Times News Service contributed to this report.