There was no Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA, applied to Social Security benefits for 2011, and that may cause great concern for senior citizens and those who care for them. This will leave 54 million beneficiaries who receive a Social Security check each month without an increase..Heating and cooling: According to TSCL's Annual Survey of senior costs, residential fuel oil has been the fastest rising expense for more than a decade. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 250-gallon delivery of home heating oil this season may cost more than With the average monthly Social Security payment around ,100, that's a cost few seniors can afford and still have something left over for groceries. Take time to survey suppliers in your area and compare costs. Do ask for a senior citizen discount and learn the supplier's payment options. Financing your heating fuel through the supplier may give you smaller, more manageable payments, but you will pay financing fees and interest. With interest so low on savings, it sometimes makes sense to pay in full when you can to save financing charges..The health premium subsidy will be paid on your behalf directly to your selected insurance plan, and you will get tax credits that reduce the total amount of tax you owe to the IRS. This can mean a bigger refund if you don't owe. The credit begins with insurance that starts January 1, 2014 or later..However, according to a message from Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, she has looked into this and discovered an error in the CARES Act that was passed in March and gave economic aid to individuals and companies in the U.S., that could result in Medicare beneficiaries having to pay out of pocket for a vaccine..2009 Annual Medicare Trustees Report, May 12, 200"How Medicare Part B Premiums Would Be Affected If There Is No Social Security COLA," Kathleen Romig, Jim Hahn, Congressional Research Service, May 4, 2009 7-5700..their coverage, losing all of the money they paid..Since 2007 the government has determined Part B premiums based on income. The government uses the most current tax return to determine income. For 2011, your mother's 2009 income was used. Individuals with incomes over ,000 or married couples with incomes of 0,000 are subject to the higher premiums. The healthcare reform legislation passed in 2010 expanded "means testing" to include Part D. Based on income, seniors pay a monthly surcharge of to .10 on top of the premium charged by their plan..Seventy - nine percent of older Americans think the highest -earning workers should be paying Social Security taxes on all of their wages, just like other workers do, according to recent survey by The Senior Citizens League. "The issue is a top priority with older voters, many of whom are outraged at recent legislative proposals to cut Social Security benefits and cost-of-living adjustments," says Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for TSCL..On Wednesday, TSCL's Board of Trustees, along with former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk, and legislative analyst Jessie Gibbons, held meetings on Capitol Hill in seven Congressional offices. TSCL's dedicated, all-volunteer Board of Trustees consists of the following members: chairman Larry Hyland, vice-chairman Tom O'Connell, secretary Charlie Flowers, treasurer Ed Cates, political action committee treasurer Michael Gales, and board liaison and president of The Retired Enlisted Association Arthur Cooper.

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Medicare fraud, abuse, and wasteful spending are problems that continue to affect all Americans. Attorney General Eric Holder estimates that fraudulent Medicare activities cost taxpayers an estimated billion a year. The staggering figure has contributed to rising costs that are passed on to beneficiaries. Lawmakers and administrators are seeking alternative measures to reign in Medicare's out-of-control costs to seniors..First, the bipartisan Consumer Price Index for the Elderly Act gained one new cosponsor in Representative Mark DeSaulnier, bringing the total up to fifty. If signed into law, the bill which was introduced by Representative John Garamendi last year would improve the adequacy of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment by basing it on the spending patterns of older Americans..In your case, you will receive your full benefit at age 6But if you delay until age 70, you'll boost your full benefit by 8% each full year you delay after your full retirement age until age 70. There are other considerations as well. While you may work and receive benefits at the same time, if you are under full retirement age you are restricted in how much you may earn before your benefits will be reduced. Earn more than the exempt amount, and your benefit will be withheld for every in earnings above the limit. In addition, Social Security benefits may add to your taxable income. A portion of your benefits are taxable when your modified adjusted gross income is over ,000 or ,000. … Continued

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TSCL polls indicate that a wide majority of older Americans are opposed to this policy. TSCL strongly supports legislation that would ban the use of earnings under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers from being used to determine benefits..Finally, the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act gained one new cosponsor in Senator Claire McCaskill, who brings the new cosponsor total to three. If signed into law, S. 1600 would base the Social Security COLA on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. The bill would also ensure that high income earners pay their fair share of taxes into Social Security..Research conducted by Johnson for The Senior Citizens League has found that Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of their buying power since 2000 because the index used to calculate the annual cost-of-living-adjustment increase doesn't adequately factor in the cost increases experienced by retirees. In 2000, for example, it cost 5 to fill up a 500-gallon home-heating oil tank. The average benefit amount in 2000 was 6, leaving older homeowners with 1 to put toward other household expenses. Today, it costs about ,640 to fill the same oil tank, but those who received benefits of 6 in 2000 only receive ,193.10 in 201"That leaves older consumers digging into savings or borrowing to make up the difference of 6.90," Johnson says. "The Social Security loss of buying power for 2018–2019 appears likely to continue to get worse." … Continued

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