Congress and the White House aren’t considering a fourth COVID stimulus check for Americans – they’ve moved on to other priorities.
That hasn’t stopped an advocacy group from trying to stoke popular pressure for a new direct payment of $ 1,400 for a vulnerable population: Social Security retirees.
The non-partisan Senior Citizens League launched a petition campaign that quickly garnered tens of thousands of signatures. If the campaign is successful, retirees who need extra help to cover their bills and pay off their debts will experience greater relief.
The proposal has a story on its side, as the United States has already paid special stimulus checks to seniors.
Seniors need new check due to inflation, league says
Retirees need a fourth stimulus check because they’re pressed by rising prices for gasoline, food, used cars and more, according to the Senior Citizens League. Some older people report that they skip meals and doses of essential medicines to cover their expenses.
“Soaring inflation has weighed on the household finances of retired and disabled social security beneficiaries,” the petition reads on the group’s website.
In recent months, consumer prices in the United States have risen by more than 5% from a year ago – a level of inflation not seen since 2008. The truly dramatic increases have been at the fuel pump. gasoline: in August, gasoline cost 42.7% more. than a year ago, says the government.
A Senior Citizens League forecast indicates that inflation could push next year’s Social Security increase to 6.2%, which would be the biggest increase in nearly four decades. But it could be too little, too late.
Support for the recovery of seniors is increasing rapidly
Soaring prices have been ravaging seniors’ bank accounts for some time, according to the league, as the average Social Security recipient has had to settle for a monthly benefit payment in 2021 that is only around $ 20. more than last year.
On Thursday, the group’s petition calling for stimulus checks to help Social Security beneficiaries cope with inflation had garnered nearly 39,000 signatures. The petition went online around Labor Day, less than four weeks earlier.
“It’s a huge response for us in such a short period of time,” Mary Johnson, Senior Citizens League social security policy analyst, told MoneyWise.
His group argues that a check for $ 1,400 would prevent people from missing meals just to pay for necessities like home insurance.
Senior citizens’ stimulus checks have a precedent
The idea of stimulus checks intended only for retirees is not new – the United States did it a dozen years ago, in the midst of the Great Recession.
The economy was in what the Federal Reserve says was its longest recession since World War II, the one that lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Home prices slumped 30%, stocks fell 57%. % and unemployment fell from 5% to 10% during the protracted crisis.
In the hope of containing the damage, President George W. Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 in February of the same year. It included stimulus checks of up to $ 600 each for most taxpayers, with Social Security recipients receiving at least $ 300.
But it was in May 2009 that the United States paid relief similar to that currently advocated by the Senior Citizens League: a stimulus check intended primarily for people on social security. They received $ 250 in Recovery Act payments from President Barack Obama; other taxpayers simply had less tax money withheld from their payroll.
What to do if you need more stimulation now
Although the Senior Citizens League has over a million supporters, its petition for a $ 1,400 stimulus check may go unheeded.
There is another online petition asking for a fourth stimulus check for $ 2,000 for most adults, followed by $ 2,000 in monthly payments. It drew over 2.9 million signatures – but little to no attention from Congress or the White House.
For now, here are a few things you can do to help ease yourself financially.
Manage your debt. Credit cards have helped many households get through the past year, but the high interest will only make life more difficult in the future. Consolidating your balances into one debt consolidation loan can lower the cost of your debt and help you pay it off faster.
Don’t pay too much when shopping online. How do you know if you are getting the best deal when there are thousands of stores competing online? To save yourself the trouble of comparing prices, simply download a free browser extension that will automatically search for lower prices and coupons.
Lower your auto insurance costs. Because so many people still drive less as a result of COVID, some auto insurers have reduced their premiums or offered discounts to their customers. If your insurance company is not in this group, it may be time to look for a better rate.
Turn your small change into a diverse portfolio. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still get some returns on the stock market. A popular app can help you invest your “spare currency” from your daily purchases.
This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.