YouTube Preview ImageWashington calls it a “minor technical change” in Social Security.  Here’s how minor Washington’s Chained CPI plan would actually be for Ken Reinhardt:  $12,000 over the next 20 years.

Reinhardt, of Coral Springs, Fla., is a U.S. Navy veteran and relies on his veterans’ benefits to survive. However, now the government is trying to dip into Social Security and veterans’ benefits to reduce the deficit.

President Obama and some in Congress are proposing a plan called the Chained CPI – designed to make Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment fall a little behind inflation every year.  Over time, it adds up.  When Ken went onto AARP’s online Chained CPI Calculator to learn how much the Chained CPI benefit cut would mean to him, he was surprised to see how big an impact it would have.

“Those who don’t see the Chained CPI as a benefit cut,” said Reinhardt, “certainly don’t see it from my perspective.”

The Chained CPI works like this: the cost of living allowance (COLA) would be adjusted using a Chained CPI so that older Americans would actually be losing money over a period of time. This would be especially detrimental to women and Americans 80+. In other words, the longer you live, the more money you’ll lose because of a Chained CPI.

Veterans would take a double hit, because they’d see a reduction in both Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Disabled veterans would especially lose money from the Chained CPI, which, says Reinhardt, is “just not fair.”

Those who solely depend on Social Security and veterans’ benefits will get the steepest cuts. The Chained CPI will target those who make little income, which will lower them further into poverty. What’s worse is that as living allowance is adjusted (read: lowered), health care costs continue to rise. Those who rely on veterans’ benefits to help with medical bills will find it much harder to make ends meet.

To find out how switching to a Chained CPI could affect you, please visit: www.aarp.org/whatyoulose.
Here you can find a calculator to help you find out how much you will lose under the Chained CPI plan. You can also fill out your information and send a protest e-mail to your senator. You can even personalize the e-mail to tell your senator exactly how much you will lose.

If you would like to do more to protest against the Chained CPI AARP Florida invites you to raise your voice, especially if you’re a veteran.  AARP Florida is recruiting Floridians who are willing to speak out on this issue.  AARP will provide you with information on how the Chained CPI would work, research on Social Security and training on how to make others aware of this important issue.  To learn more, e-mail: flaarp@aarp.org, or call toll-free 1-866-595-7678.

But don’t wait on us — you can make your own video detailing how the Chained CPI will affect you, and post it on YouTube. If you do, please make sure to tag AARP FL in the tag line.