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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Food Stamp Cuts Devalues Recent Social Security Benefit Increase

Although many of the Social Security Benefit recipients were delighted with the recent increase in Cost-of-living Adjustment (COLA), some of them remain mum as the food stamp cut devalues the recent benefit raise.

Last month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has officially announced that the automatic annual COLA increase for 2014 will be 1.5 percent. The said raise is supposedly enough for the increasing consumer prices.

However, just a few weeks following the federal benefit increase announcement, the food stamp cut has already begun to take effect.

This is some sort of a bit of bad news for the households that receive both social security benefits and food stamps at the same time. As the benefit increase take into effect by January 1, those who receive $1,000 in social security benefit and $228 in food stamps will receive a additional $15 in social security benefits while their food stamp have already went down by $20.

Obviously, the higher cut in food stamp makes the federal benefit increase worthless.

Based on recent statistics, about 17 percent or roughly 18 million Americans who rely in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receive Social Security income.

The national food stamp came in light after the 13.6 percent benefit increase contained in the 2009 stimulus bill had expired. Previous reports have it that the said raise wasn’t supposed to expire if the Congressional Democrats did not use the allocated money to pay for other spending priorities in 2010. Although, they pledged to replace the funds, their promises were later proved futile.

Meanwhile, several financial experts warned against the people’s common perception that the Social Security’s automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment is an increase in benefits.

"The COLA isn't a real increase, it's just an increase to keep the benefit up to date with inflation, whereas the cut that's taking place in SNAP benefits is actually a cut in real terms," said Paul Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal Washington-based think tank.

Subsequently, in Los Angeles wherein a lot of retirees and disabled Americans rely on social security, many social security claim lawyers likewise believe the same.

“This year’s benefit raise is actually one of the lowest adjustments in decades mainly because the consumer prices in previous years haven’t gone up much,” claimed by a lawyer herein.