INDIANAPOLIS - More than one-million people in Indiana will soon have more money in their pocket.
The Social Security Administration recently announced it’s increasing how much people take home every month in benefits. Indiana Statehouse reporter, David Williams, spent the day with seniors who say they need it most.
Let’s break this down for you. Right now, according to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly check for retired workers is $1,377.
Starting in 2018, that will jump to $1,404. That works out to roughly $27 extra every month.
That extra money means a lot to many Hoosiers.
Ms. Judith Dow watches every penny she spends. She survives on her monthly Social Security checks alone, and it's hard.
"Housing is expensive, groceries are expensive. Medicare is real expensive, medical things. There's not much left over,” She explained to Indiana Statehouse reporter, David Williams.
According to the Social Security Administration, she’s one of more than 1.3 Million Hoosiers getting monthly benefits.
“Federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).
The CPI-W rises when prices increase, making your cost of living go up. This means prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive,” Doug Nguyen
Regional Communications Director of the Social Security Administration’s Chicago region told Indiana Satehouse reporter, David Williams. “The COLA helps to offset these costs. As a result, more than 66 million Americans, including beneficiaries in Indiana, will see a 2.0 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018.
Dow said she’s just trying to make ends meet.
"Especially when I've worked all my life. Working two and three jobs, raising three daughters, She said.
Ms. JoJo Wright used to depend on the fruits of her labor too. Now, she survives on her monthly checks too.
"It's very important to me. It takes care of all my bills and everything I need,” Wright explained. “If they give us a raise, it would be a beautiful thing"
It's on the way. Recently, the Social Security Administration announced a 2% increase in benefits starting in 2018. Based on the cost of living, it means roughly $27 more every month.
Twenty-seven dollars is better than no dollars!” Wright exclaimed.
"It would be nice. I'll believe it when I see it!” Dow said. “I'm sure they'll find something else to take out"
Wright said that $27 a month would go a long way.
"I could pay one of the organization's yearly fees which I can't do right now. Or, it'd be a treat with my granddaughter,” Dow explained.
The ladies are just hoping making ends meet can get a little easier.
About the long term goal, Nguyen said.
“Social Security is committed to helping maintain the basic well-being and protection of the people we serve. We pay benefits to over 1.3 million Indiana residents including retirees, children, widows, and widowers. From birth, to marriage, and into retirement, we are there to provide support throughout life's journey.
For more information on the SSA’s Cost of Living Adjustment, click here