Some not happy about possible Social Security changes

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Millions of senior citizens could face shrinking Social Security checks starting next year.

C.E. Walker is a pretty funny pharmacist.

"I been in this business 57 years, and I made so much money," said Walker. "That's the reason I'm still working at 79," he laughed. "Well, I mean, I like to eat. I like to pay the bills. You know, I'm just dependent like everybody else."

But, what he doesn't find funny is the fact that his Social Security check will most likely not get a "cola" increase.

"I think it stinks!" said Walker. "Have they not been to the grocery store lately or the gas station lately? I mean, what do they mean no inflation? [There's] no check inflation, true."

And, Walker isn't alone.

"That's all I get," said Louise Waters of Longview. "That's the only check I get is my Social Security."

The card playing seniors feel the government is dealing them a bad hand.

"How do they know what medicine prices are going to be for two years?!" said Waters. "If gasoline continues to go up. I'll have to stay home."

"If we don't get an increase in our Social Security and retirement pay, we're just going to have to cut out other things in our lives," said Bill Silvertooth.

And, finding services and programs to replace those cuts is what the East Texas Council of Government tries to help seniors do.

"What they may want to start doing is doing an energy check of their home to see what insulations need to be made to reduce the energy cost," suggested Claude Andrews, director of East Texas Council of Governments. "If they are driving, start looking to see if they can use the public transit system."

Seniors over 60 should also check for nutrition programs that offer free meals. Also, look for support services that offer minor home repairs. That's good advice for seniors to have the upper hand.

The East Texas Council on Governments has set up a senior help line with services and programs for East Texas seniors. Just click here to check it out, or call the senior hot line number at 1-800-442-8845.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.