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SOCIAL SECURITY: SS Paycheck Shrinks, Affects Most Retirees

February 16, 2010

Washington - After the Social Security Administration (SSA) had postponed the annual cost-of-living adjustment this year, majority of retirees have been receiving smaller benefits since their Medicare costs are deducted from their paychecks, according to a survey conducted by the Senior Citizens League (TSCL).

During the previous years, TSCL said the Medicare deduction from Social Security paychecks did not “significantly shrink the benefits” since it was compensated by cost-of-living adjustment which is based on the annual inflation rate.

But with no increase in payments, TSCL said the benefits for seniors “drastically shrink”, forcing them to cut back their visits to doctors and other health services.

According to survey, one out of three seniors has his monthly payment reduced by $31, while one out of nine said his benefits have decreased by $70 or higher.

The survey also shows that 38 percent of seniors cut back their medicine intake; 45 percent reduce their visit to doctor and outpatient hospital services; and 47 percent have trouble paying their electric bills.

In a statement, TSLC Chairman Daniel O’Connell said the seniors are the most affected sector in the US economic downturn since they have no fixed income while the government-provided income is shrinking.

O’Connell said that almost 70 percent of retirees depend on Social Security paychecks for half of their income while 15 percent of them solely depend on these benefits.

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