Another year will pass without a COLA hike for senior citizens. Qualifying elderly didn’t get one for 2010, nor will they for 2011. And predictions are that next yr, 2012, will only see a minuscule raise for seniors; but don’t go splurging on that weekend cruise just yet. Medicare costs are also seen to escalate and most likely render any cost of living increase moot.
By government estimate, there are about 45 million people currently on Medicare or Social Security, which means almost 6 percent of citizens–mostly elderly–will be affected.
The only upside to not receiving a COLA increase from the Government is that Uncle Sam isn’t able to go further and give them pay cuts. You cant get less than what you’re owed, which is due to the legal concept of “hold harmless.”
Now, if Uncle Sam could shape up and ensure that those who have passed away are not still drawing checks in the afterlife, that would help a little; no scheme is fool-proof and there are a lot of crooks out there trying to swindle everyone, including Social Security and Medicare.
Times are tight. We all know that. But you can’t help but feel for those who just barely manage to make it through the first of the month on their minuscule Social Security benefit checks, and who now have to confront another year without a COLA step up. Its a bumpy road to travel, and it seems to get worse every day, especially for the elderly who are disproportionately affected.