HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Anticipating a bigger social security check in 2017? Next year, social security benefits will increase by only .3%. So, someone who receives $1200 a month now will get an additional $3.60 a month next year, leaving many wondering how they'll make ends meet as social security checks see a historically low increase for the fifth straight year.
“It's taking away the freedom of you living. That's not enough. I mean an extra $3, $4? How are you going to survive with that?” asks social security recipient Cynthia McFarland.
In 2016 social security benefits didn't increase at all. The federal government says the social security cost of living adjustment will go up next year by .3% a month because inflation is low thanks to things such as lower gasoline prices.
”If that's all they're going to give me I have to take it,” says 76 year old Eugenia Parker. The seniors we spoke with say after spending their social security check on the essentials there just isn't much left.
“Sometimes I have to choose between a doctor's co-pay or buying groceries. I can’t do both,” explains Theresa Ferguson.
“You really have to live with your kids or someone to survive in this world,” says 67 year old Mary Edmond who lives with her daughter because she can't afford to live alone. Many of Edmond’s friends still have jobs far beyond retirement age. “They've got to survive because it's not enough money coming in for them to support themselves,” adds Edmond.
Since 2011 social security benefits have gone up by more than 2% just once. The increase has been zero three times in the last five years.