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Seniors Receiving Social Security Will Not Get Raise in 2016

Those who get Social Security benefits will not see a cost-of-living raise in 2016. Credit: Jerry Oster
Those who get Social Security benefits will not see a cost-of-living raise in 2016. Credit: Jerry Oster
October 16, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Social Security Administration has announced there will not be a cost-of-living increase for senior citizens and other who receive benefits.

It's the third time in the past five years there has been no increase. Sarah Jennings, state director for AARP-South Dakota, said that's tough for thousands of South Dakotans.

"No increase on Social Security benefits this coming year really does hit our South Dakotans hard who rely on it to cover basic needs such as health care and food and housing," she said.

About 160,000 people in South Dakota receive Social Security, and for 30 percent of them, it is their only monthly income.

Despite the official cost of living showing a drop of 0.6 percent, Jennings said, many of the things seniors buy are getting more expensive.

"For seniors on Social Security benefits, what they are spending their money on for day-to-day expenses are things like putting food on the table, paying their electric bill, paying for housing, and all those expenses continue to go up," she said. "Having no increase in the Social Security benefit doesn't really reflect the reality that faces most South Dakota seniors."

Jennings said most seniors getting Social Security don't get a lot.

"The average benefit for a South Dakota senior on Social Security is about a little under $1,200 a month," she said. "For about half of our seniors across South Dakota, that is more than half their income for the entire month. And so trying to get by on $1,200, and then with not much to supplement that, is really a struggle."

In 2012, South Dakota residents got about $2.1 billion from Social Security.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD