AARP has launched a digital Social Security Resource Center, coinciding with this week’s announcement that Social Security benefits will be increased 2.8% for 2019.
AARP Chief Executive Officer Jo Ann Jenkins says the 2.8% cost of living adjustment (COLA) brings much-needed income security to those Social Security beneficiaries and their families who depend on their “earned, modest benefits.”
“The COLA is particularly important for the tens of millions of families who depend on Social Security for all or most of their retirement income, many of whom may have lost ground during the Great Recession,” Jenkins says. “Unfortunately, the cost of living increase may not adequately cover their expenses that rise faster than inflation including health, prescription drug, utility and housing costs.”
Jenkins points to research showing more than four in 10 beneficiaries started exploring their Social Security options less than a year before making their first claim. She says recent papers from AARP’s Public Policy Institute demonstrate the importance of Social Security to women and minorities, and of ensuring the long-term stability of the successful program.
“This election season AARP has also asked voters to ‘Be the Difference and Vote,’ because critical issues like Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug costs are all on the line,” Jenkins says.
Among many other features, the AARP resource center helps individuals answer the following questions: “What is the maximum Social Security benefit I can receive, and how do I claim it? Can I work and collect Social Security? And how can I get a copy of my Social Security award letter?”