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Expert says social security benefits could increase as inflation goes up

Posted at 7:39 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 20:39:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Denise Maness used her cane on Wednesday to get up the ramp at the social security administration office in Corpus Christi. She suffers from neuropathy and is on social security benefits.

However, those benefits are not enough to cover Maness’ expenses after inflation is forcing prices to go up on just about everything from gas to groceries.

“I have neuropathy and my vitamins at GNC went up double, just double overnight. I mean inflation is costing me everything,” Maness said.

She’s considering getting a second job, but with her neuropathy, she’s limited as to what kind of jobs she can take on.

The U.S. social security administration is projecting that with the rate of inflation going up, benefits could also increase more than 8 percent next year.

This year, they went up about 6 percent.

Jorge Barro, a fellow in public finance at Rice University said when inflation goes up, the government tends to increase benefits, but when inflation goes down, benefits could also decrease.

“The inflation rate currently exceeds the increase in the benefits,” he said.

Barro said the government can reduce benefits or raise taxes to make up the difference in the increase in benefits, but that would require policy changes from lawmakers.

He said even though some people might be worried that social security benefits will go away, that is not the case. However, the benefits might not be as high.

The Senior Citizens League projects social security benefits would increase about $175 a month next year.

“$175 a year is not going to cut what we’re going through,” Maness said.

However, Corpus Christi residents like David Dodson, who is applying for social security benefits, said $175 would make a difference.

But he added not enough to make up for the cost of groceries going up.

“Inflation is getting so high, so fast that it’s not keeping up with the cost of living,” he said.