3% Social Security hike? $1,200 stimulus checks? How to get money to seniors

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

Sarah Silbiger | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Americans are hurting financially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and that includes the nation’s seniors.

Now, two House Democratic lawmakers are hoping to help retirees with a bill to increase next year’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., is introducing a bill today with Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., that would boost the COLA for next year to 3% from 1.3%.

The emergency COLA would help pay for extra expenses seniors face amid the pandemic, such as the cost of having food delivered and higher utility bills as they spend more time at home.

The proposed one-year boost comes as research shows the cost-of-living adjustments have generally not been keeping up with the rising costs older Americans face, even before the pandemic.

Beyond this bill, both lawmakers have advocated for changing the metric for how Social Security calculates the annual increases to an index more aligned with actual costs seniors incur. Using a different index could result in bigger cost-of-living adjustments.

In an interview with CNBC.com, DeFazio shared why the emergency raise for Social Security beneficiaries needs to happen, and what it will take for more stimulus aid to pass.

How an emergency 3% COLA could help

How the proposal could get tied to stimulus aid

Why more $1,200 checks are needed

How the election may turn the tables

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