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Other Informative Stories That We are Following on October 13, 2015

No Social Security Increase Next Year [1] – My Way  …   “For just the third time in 40 years, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect no increase in benefits next year, unwelcome news for more than one-fifth of the nation’s population. They can blame low gas prices. By law, the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a government measure of inflation, which is being dragged down by lower prices at the pump. The government is scheduled to announce the COLA — or lack of one — on Thursday, when it releases the Consumer Price Index for September. Inflation has been so low this year that economists say there is little chance the September numbers will produce a benefit increase for next year.”

“Only twice before, in 2010 and 2011, have there been no increases. In all, the COLA affects payments to more than 70 million Americans. Almost 60 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security benefits. The average monthly payment is $1,224.”

Cubans Retire to Florida – With Help from U.S. Taxpayers [2] – Sun Sentinel  …  “More Cubans are coming to Florida in their golden years to retire, able to tap U.S. government assistance even though they never lived or worked here. The number of Cubans arriving over the age of 60 grew fivefold since 2010, according to state refugee data. At least 185 made the crossing in their 80s or 90s. Unlike most other immigrants, Cubans qualify immediately for food stamps and Medicaid. If they are over 65 with little or no income, they also can collect a monthly check of up to $733 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Cubans’ special status has enabled an increasing number of elderly to retire to the U.S. with taxpayer support.”

“‘They’re getting cheap apartments, food stamps,’ said Cuban-born attorney Pedro Fuentes-Cid of Tampa. ‘They tell their friends in Cuba, and they come over.’ The special status that Cubans have enjoyed for decades has helped make Miami-Dade top in the nation among large counties in the percentage of people over 65 collecting SSI, the Sun Sentinel found in an analysis of Census and Social Security data. In 2013 Miami-Dade had more seniors on SSI than all other Florida counties combined. Cubans know about the government program before they leave the island, said Jose Rolon-Rivera, a former Social Security judge in Miami.”

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