74-Year-Old Florida Social Security Recipient Relies on $19 in Food Assistance

Sharee B.

A 74-year-old woman living in Florida who receives social security benefits has been surviving on just $19 in food assistance per month as she struggles to make ends meet.

The elderly woman, Mrs. Reynolds, who recently had taken a part-time cashier's job at a local Walmart, worries about continuing to afford her basic expenses while receiving a little over $700 in monthly checks from the SSA.

“I can’t live on $709 a month, so I have to work. I have no choice, even though my body says you can’t do much more,” - Mrs. Reynolds

Although Reynolds, who is exhausted from trying to keep up with the demands, does receive Medicare benefits, she still faces extremely high copayments for prescriptions and doctors visits.

Some days the elderly woman worries how she will continue paying for the roof over her head as the bills pile up and she contemplates whether she will pay for her medications or groceries for the week.

She is just one of tens of millions of individuals who receive social security benefits each but are forced to choose which of the living expenses will get paid on a consistent basis. Some are in situations more dire than Mrs. Reynolds, and opt for relocating to other countries as opposed to residing in high cost of living areas in the US.

The average social security benefit is currently $1500 monthly, with many recipients receiving only around $700 depending on their work history and other factors. In the next fifteen years, the number of people expected to reach retirement age will be more than 20 million.

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