Many of the women in a Charles Walker Senior Center quilting class are on fixed incomes. They count on social security to pay for basic necessities.
Right now, the average social security payment is $882. Because of cost of living changes, the monthly check is about to go up $13. "That's not much, the way prices are," said Inez Hover. "But in the long run," the retiree said, "I guess that's better than nothing."
Liz Flanders had the same thought. She was at the Gulfport senior center painting a ceramic statue. The Gulfport retiree laughed at the $13 increase "because it's funny." She thought Medicaid would get $10 of the increase, leaving her with $3, enough for a "good hamburger."
Let's see what else Liz Flanders could buy, if she got the full $13 a month. A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread. There goes $5. Throw in a box of cereal, a bar of soap, and a box of Kleenex, and the total is over $13.
Since you can't buy much with $13, Ms. Flanders said she's taking the relatively minimal increase in stride. "No I don't get angry. I just take it with a smile," she said.