SINCE the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, federal and state lawmakers have been pushing for direct payments to Americans to alleviate financial hardship.
The federal government has successfully sent out three rounds of stimulus checks, while various states have been able to grant citizens cash as well.
However, as inflation soars, higher monthly expenses are taking a toll on Americans’ bank accounts.
In addition, most economic stimulus packages are or have expired.
Prices are up more than 9% from the same period last year as categories like groceries, gas, utilities and more were impacted.
Inflation, in particular, has hit older Americans hard.
The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) recently found that the spending power of Social Security recipients has fallen 40% since 2000.
As a result, calls for more payments were made.
Stimulus check for seniors
In October 2021, TSCL Chairman Rick Delaney sent a letter to Congress imploring lawmakers to pass additional assistance for seniors.
“We’ve heard from thousands [seniors] who used up their savings for retirement, who started eating only one meal a day, who started cutting their pills in half because they can’t afford their prescription drugs,” the letter reads.
TSCL acknowledged that it was highly unlikely that Congress would act in 2021, but the organization hoped high-level stimulus checks would become a legislative priority this year.
The organization also created a petition demanding $1,400 in stimulus payments to seniors.
More than 15 million seniors are considered economically insecure, according to the National Council on Aging.
This uncertainty, coupled with the fact that many seniors live on a fixed income, means the group is particularly vulnerable in the face of high prices and rising costs.
Do Seniors Get a Fourth Stimulus Check?
Congress has failed to pass any new meaningful stimulus measures for seniors or otherwise.
Dozens of lawmakers have been pushing for recurring stimulus payments.
However, another round of stimulus was not part of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda.
A stripped-down version of Biden’s plan has passed the Senate.
The $700 billion package addresses climate change and aims to reduce the cost of a small number of prescription drugs.
While this may have some positive implications for seniors, there is no serious talk of renewed stimulus payments at this time.
A broad stimulus that includes seniors currently seems unlikely at best.
Barring one significant change, seniors shouldn’t expect to receive any more government incentives.
However, it’s possible that should the US enter a recession (which many economists fear), further aid could come at the state or local level.
dr Tim Rosenberger Jr., an up-and-coming fellow at the Hoover Institution whose research focuses on state and local government policy, told The Sun that California in particular could act.
“California is sitting on a big pile of cash right now,” said Dr. Rosenberger.
“Whether that’s still the case and whether the state decides to use this money for a kind of UBI or [a[ one-off inflation [payment] Offset is unclear.”
Other aids for seniors
The federal government adjusts Social Security benefits each year to keep up with inflation.
The cost of living adjustment for 2022 was 5.9%, one of the largest in history.
That means about 70 million Americans will receive a monthly increase in their benefits in 2022.
There are also two programs that provide meals to low-income seniors known as the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program issues coupons for elders to buy fresh produce at farmers’ markets and other local businesses.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program provides seniors with healthy food packages on a monthly basis.
To qualify for either of the two free grocery programs, you must meet certain requirements:
The Sun explained the full schedule for Social Security, SSI and SSDI payments.
For more on seniors, we explain why it makes sense to retire at 70.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/5458653/will-senior-citizens-receive-a-stimulus-check/ Do seniors get a stimulus check?