Social Security Beneficiaries’ 2012 Increase May Be Eaten Up by Medicare Premiums

Next year the Social Security Administration will adjust the amounts its beneficiaries receive by an estimated .07 percent to accomodate the rising cost of living, according to the agency’s recent trustees report. However, a new Baltimore Sun story reports that any extra benefits that seniors receive may well be absorbed by rising Medicare premiums.

“In the two years that benefits remained flat, Medicare premiums also were frozen for the three-quarters of retirees with low to moderate incomes,” writes Sun reporter Eileen Ambrose. “But if their benefits go up, so will their Medicare premiums, which are taken out of Social Security checks.”

If fuel prices continue to climb, beneficiaries may actually see an increase as high as two percent, reports the newspaper. This change is slated to affect 59 million retirees, as well as others who collect benefits.

In 2010 and 2011, benefit payments remained the same; this was the first time in 35 years that benefits hadn’t increased annually. Experts say this is because in 2008 fuel prices soared so much so that Social Security beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent cost-of-living increase in 2009.

Do you think Social Security beneficiaries need a larger benefits increase? If so, why?

If you need help with your Social Security benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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