Social Security checks get $63 boost

Friday, October 17th 2008, 7:51 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Those drawing Social Security will see their monthly checks increasing more than $63, the largest raise in more than a quarter century.

Currently, 400,000 Oklahomans rely on social security checks as a primary income.

"Every little bit will help," retiree Ted Bergey said.

He's experienced the economic strain as prices rise on items like fuel, food and bills. Bergey said he's learned how to stretch his money to its limit while living on a fixed income.

"I cooked large meals and separate them throughout the week so I can warm them up later," Bergey said. "That really helps me cut down on food costs."

The extra $63 Bergey will receive is a much-welcomed increase for the struggling Oklahoman.

"Living month-to-month on disability, I sometimes come up short," Bergey said. "Even a little bit is going to help with medicines or help me with transportation."

Vester Cain, another retiree said the raise won't impact her too much.

"I still say the $63 is not going to make all that difference to me," Cain said.

Cain is shuffling expenses from her home, car, insurance, and medical bills, but she said she doesn't plan on changing her lifestyle.

"I refuse to complain, but I'm doing better than some people I know," Cain said. "It's nothing to boast about, but I feel blessed."

The raise is based on the economy in the past year and will take effect January 2009.

In addition to the raise, the Medicare part B premiums will stay the same for the upcoming year.