SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Renee Maxwell, who lives in Savannah, can’t wait for the cost of living adjustment announced by the Social Security Administration to take effect.
“I’m so happy they decided to give a raise and I’m just happy for all of us who are going to receive it,” said Maxwell.
The 5.9 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) announced Wednesday is the highest in four decades.
“I think people are anticipating a nice increase,” said Patrick Cobb, from AARP in South Carolina. “It’s a good thing, especially in this economy, where folks are still recovering from the pandemic. But you also have to look at the cost of gasoline and food, which is increasing.
“While it’s a good thing, it’s money that’s going to come right out of their pocketbooks to pay for some of these commodity goods, especially when you look at prescription drugs and rent and utilities and groceries,” he added.
Cobb says up to 1 million people in South Carolina receive Social Security, and the average benefit is $1,300 per month.
He also said that more than 2 million people in Georgia receive Social Security benefits. Average payments in Georgia are estimated at about $1,500 per month. The COLA would provide about $65 to $75 extra per month for those monthly amounts.
“That would be very meaningful, especially with groceries going up. Between the groceries and the utilities, it will be a big help,” said Maxwell. “So many have to choose between groceries and medication.”
Cobb says most seniors will find quick uses for the extra funds, which will be provided starting in 2022.
Maxwell says every little bit helps. “This is a blessing,” she said.