TRENTON, N.J. – Citing major financial concerns for seniors during the coronavirus pandemic, Assemblyman Ron Dancer said Congress needs to pass the COVID-19 Emergency Social Security Cost of Living Increase Act of 2020.
“Seniors have suffered exceedingly devastating consequences from the coronavirus,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Not only are they more likely to become severely ill from the virus, their savings and financial wellbeing have taken a hit from the economic fallout.”
Dancer introduced a resolution (AR206) in support of federal legislation increasing the Social Security cost of living adjustment and changing the method of calculating future adjustments to more accurately reflect seniors’ annual cost increases.
“There are 1.6 million New Jersey residents counting on Social Security benefits to survive,” said Dancer. “Costs of living increases should take into account a senior’s top expenses including housing and medical care. They deserve more financial security in this time of great uncertainty.”
On October 13, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.3 percent cost of living adjustment for calendar year 2021—one of the lowest increases since 1975. Dancer’s resolution supports increasing the annual adjustment to 3 percent this year and at least 3 percent next year.
The proposed federal legislation would also require that future increases be based on the Consumer Price Index for the elderly rather than the index for wage earners and clerical workers. The latter is more representative of working-age consumers’ expenditures, whereas the index for the elderly is a more accurate measure of annual expenses in households headed by those aged 62 or older.
If Congress were to pass the bill, New Jersey’s senior citizens could receive an additional $545 in both 2020 and 2021.