Stimulus checks for the elderly: will they get one as inflation soars?
The federal government has sent three rounds of stimulus checks since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while states and counties continue to send stimulus payments to targeted groups even now. However, one group that hasn’t gotten the necessary support but has been hit hard by soaring inflation is older Americans. Thus, requests are made to send more stimulus checks to seniors. But, so far, there has been no official proposal to send financial aid to this group.
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TSCL pushes for more stimulus checks for the elderly
The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a nonpartisan seniors group, recently noted that inflation has reduced the purchasing power of Social Security recipients by about 40% since the year 2000.
TSCL President Rick Delaney even sent a letter to Congress last year explaining the challenges seniors face. Delaney also asked Congress to send additional aid to the elderly.
“We heard thousands of [seniors] who have exhausted their retirement savings, who have started eating only one meal a day, have started to cut their pills in half because they can’t afford their prescription drugs,” says Delaney’s letter.
At the time, the organization noted that Congress was unlikely to send more financial aid to seniors in 2021, but hoped it would become a priority this year. To push Congress to send more financial aid, the organization even created a petition calling on Congress to send $1,400 stimulus checks to seniors.
A report by the National Council on Aging claims that more than 15 million older people are considered economically insecure.
Will seniors benefit from more financial aid?
Despite the TSCL’s efforts, there have been no serious proposals from lawmakers to send stimulus checks to the elderly. In fact, there have been no new federal stimulus checks since the approval of the third stimulus check in March of last year.
Congress is currently focused on other issues, and therefore federal legislation to send stimulus checks to seniors seems highly unlikely at this time.
Seniors may, however, benefit from other federal plans. For example, the 2022 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 5.9% was one of the highest on record. This adjustment increases the amount of monthly inflows for social security beneficiaries.
Additionally, there are two other programs that make more food available to low-income seniors, and these are the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program and the Supplemental Feeding Program.
Under the first program, eligible seniors receive coupons that allow them to buy groceries at farmers’ markets and other local businesses. Under the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, eligible seniors receive monthly packages of healthy foods.
To qualify for both programs, a person must be 60 years of age or older and their income must be at or below 185% of the federal poverty level.