Low gas prices to blame for lack of Social Security increase

Low gas prices are to blame for the lack of a Social Security benefits increase.

Low gas prices are to blame for the lack of a Social Security benefits increase. (10/12/15)

METUCHEN - New Jersey has seen a significant decrease in the price of gasoline this year. For most people, this is a good thing. However some New Jersey residents who rely on Social Security may not be as thrilled with the new prices.

"The fact that the cost of gasoline has come down doesn’t mean that the cost of living has come down," says Metuchen resident John Bacardi.

More than 70 million Americans that receive Social Security benefits will not see an increase in the amount they received this year. The United States Social Security Administration says the decrease in gas prices across the country is to blame.

By United States law, the annual "cost of living adjustment" increase is based on inflation. The low gas prices have brought that inflation down, hence no Social Security increase.

However, that isn't sitting well with New Jersey residents.

"I think that what often gets lost in the cost of living figurations is the cost of food," says Ann Watts, of Metuchen. "That hasn't changed and it hasn't come down."

This is the third time in 40 years the Social Security increase has not been approved. It happened twice before in 2010 and 2011.

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