Senior Citizens React to Word of Social Security Freeze - - ABC13

Senior Citizens React to Word of Social Security Freeze


Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Daniel Heffner

Lynchburg, VA - Fifty-eight million social security recipients will likely go on another year without a cost of living adjustment. The government is expected to make the announcement this week.

On Monday, ABC 13 met up with struggling seniors to get their reaction to the news.

"Everybody needs that raise for 2011," Lela Mann said.

Mann, who is on social security, says the day-to-day hustle is a struggle.

"It's hard. I'm barely making it," Mann said.

For Mann, a couple dollars have to go a long way.

"We've got a lot of bills to pay. Doctor's bills and everything. If we don't get a raise, our Medicare will be going," Mann said.

At the Jefferson House in Lynchburg, the news comes as a shock for the Kellams.

"It makes me madder than a wet hen," Jeff Kellam, 59, said.

"Everything is so overwhelming. We worry every day about our finances," Pam Kellam, 64, said.

They say in 2009, they received a 5.8 percent adjustment increase. That was the result of inflation. This year they received nothing. They can expect the same for 2011.

"I, as a senior, feel like it's much easier for them to cut us out and forget about us and take care of other things," P. Kellam said.

Jointly, they make about $1,700 a month. They say, that is not enough to pay their bills.

"Gas has gone up, food has gone up, our rent has gone up," P. Kellam said.

"We worked hard all our lives. We paid our taxes," J. Kellam said.

Now they feel as if they have nothing to show for it. They say rent has gone up $26, making their budget even tighter.

"When you're on a fixed income, it ain't all the great," J. Kellam said.

"We pray and hold on the last week of the month," P. Kellam said.

The cost-of-living adjustments are set each year according to inflation. Congress adopted this method in the 1970s.

The projection for 2011 will be official Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases their inflation estimates for the month of September.


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