Legislative Update: May 2022

What’s the Status of the $1,400 Stimulus Payments?

By Doug Osborne, Legislative Liaison

Soaring food prices are a major factor behind TSCL’s decision to continue working for passage of legislation to provide a $1,400 stimulus payment for Social Security recipients.  While the number of supporters signing our petition continues to grow, so does the need.  Inflation is at the highest level since 1982, causing older households to struggle to feed themselves while paying for prescription medications and other bills.

The need for Congress to take action is urgent.  TSCL was shocked to learn that nearly one-out-of-two retirees is at risk of not being able to get enough to eat, according to the results of our recent Senior Survey.  Despite a slight reduction in the number of families visiting food pantries from the 2020 height of the pandemic, a growing number of older adults appear to be taking their place, especially over the past 18 months.

TSCL is particularly concerned as we learn how the 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is causing benefit trims for retirees receiving income adjusted benefits such as food stamps.  Here’s what we’re talking about:

I wonder if our politicians are aware of the fact that SNAP benefits during the pandemic were $300 a month for a person that makes $850 on Social Security?  After the height of the pandemic in 2020, I received only $230 in SNAP benefits in 2021.  Now that the price of food has gone up and I received a COLA, my SNAP benefits have been adjusted to $208 a month.  The higher the food gets the lower the SNAP benefits that I get.  

I really need these since I cannot work.  I think our lawmakers want us to die.  That would save the government a lot of money.  They really haven't forgotten us. They've created a plan to get rid of us!  — L.F., MO

Stimulus payments are an effective way to get help to these people because, as advance payable tax credits, these payments are not counted as income.  Thus, Social Security recipients who are also enrolled in SNAP or other assistance programs would not be subject to benefit adjustments and reductions that would typically occur when incomes rise.

TSCL has notified each and every Member of the House and Senate in writing that over 100,000 petitioners believe Congress should provide a $1,400 stimulus to Social Security recipients.

Help TSCL put together the Seniors Priority Plan for every member of Member of Congress.  Take our new Seniors Priority Plan survey: https://seniorsleague.org/2022-senior-priority-plan/.