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Inflation Relief Checks: summary news 7 December

Update:
Inflation Relief Checks live updates: 2023 COLA, Middle Class Tax Refund, home prices, unemployment...

Inflation Relief: Latest Updates

Headlines: Wednesday,7 December 2022

​​​​​​​- California could become the first state to enact a windfall profits taxon gas companies 

Supplemental Security Income recipients will be thefirst to see the COLA applied to their checks 

Medicare Open Enrollment ends tomorrow, 7 December: What you need to know about Part B

- A strike by railroad workers has been outlawed: what was passed by Congress? 

- California continues distributing Middle-Class Tax Refund, with payments already benefiting 19 million residents 

- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggests that elevated interest rates will remain

- Experts predicting a significant market adjustment in house prices​​​​​​​

- Some groups will receive two Social Security checks this month

Related news

How does the government calculate how much my monthly social security benefits will be when I retire?

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How does the government calculate how much my monthly social security benefits will be when I retire?

In October, the Social Security Administration (SSA)  released the 2023 Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 9.7 percent that will be applied to benefit amounts. 

There is one group the COLA will impact less than other beneficiaries and that is workers who will begin to receive benefits next year. Will Gittins and Maite Knorr-Evans explain exactly how the SSA will identify your benefit amount. Give it a read. 

Fortune puts together a threat on housing market trends for 2023

Fortune has taken a look at a new report by News Lambert, which examined thirteen housing market models and determined that if most trends hold, prices will continue to fall in 2023. 

After the pandemic led to higher-than-usual demand in the housing market, the Fed's move to increase interest rates has decreased the number of buyers looking to buy. When rates go up, mortgages become more expensive. 

The outlet reports that between June and September, average housing prices have fallen around 2.2 percent, a trend that is expected to continue. Some of the more "bearish" market analysts whose models were examined are predicting a twenty percent drop in prices next year if interest rates remain at their current level or are further increased. 
​​​

When does Medicare Open Enrollment end?

Open Enrollment for Medicare ends today, Wednesday, 7 December. 

This is the final opportunity for seniors to make changes to their Medicare coverage that they will be able to use in 2023. 

For information about changes to Medicare Part B, check out our full coverage

Possible downswing of housing costs

The high cost of housing is one reason inflation has gone up this year, but according to economists, rents on new leases have already reached their peak and are set to go down.

Consumers must keep in mind that although housing inflation could pull down the overall rate, it doesn’t mean that the inflation problem is over.

What are the three main types of taxes?

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What are the three main types of taxes?

There may be doubts as to whether inflation or unemployment will go up or down, but one thing is for certain, we all have to pay taxes.

What are the kinds of taxes that the average American needs to pay? AS USA’s Maite Knorr-Evans tells us about the kinds of taxes from which the government gets its funds.

Expectation and inflation go hand-in-hand

Inflation has gone down in the US in the past few months, from a 40-year-high of 9.1% in June to 7.7% in October. However, consumers aren’t convinced that inflation is actually on the wane. According to USA Today Money, these expectations may end up to be self-perpetuating. The belief that inflation will continue and the actual inflation rate could end up reinforcing each other.

How much does the average Social Security recipient receive? Full table

US NEWS

How much does the average Social Security recipient receive? Full table

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a wide range of programs designed to provide financial support for Americans. However it is the agency’s retirement benefits that are by far the most widely utilised, and which provide a “replacement income for qualified retirees and their families.”

In July 2022 more than 70 million people received some form of support from the SSA, of which more than 50 million claimed retirement benefits, a whopping 77.6 percent.

Alongside retired workers, people receiving retirement benefits are the two groups of recipients that receive the highest average benefit. This isn’t too difficult to work out why. While disabled benefits are available to everyone kept out of work by a disability, retirement payment averages can include disability payments if the recipient qualifies. A 30-year old would be able to receive disability payments but not retirement payments.

Will Social Security recipients get an extra $200 a month in 2023?

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Will Social Security recipients get an extra $200 a month in 2023?

In October,the average monthly benefit for Social Security recipients was $1,676.53. Next year, when the Social Security Administration applies the 2023 Cost-of-living adjustment, that amount could grow by around $146 to $1,822 a month.

This increase is short of the $200 some retirees had hoped to see their benefits rise by, as many seniors on a fixed income struggle to keep up with inflation.

AS USA's Maite Knorr-Evans has more info.

Will the Fed Reserve continue to increase interest rates?

Throughout much of 2022 the Federal Reserve's number one priority has been to tackle the high rate of inflation that is causing real pain for Americans. To do so, the central bank has instituted a series of interest rates hikes, designed to make borrowing more expensive and cool the economy. However, after the first signed that inflation is beginning to slow, will the Fed continue with this tactic?

Which are the states with the highest disability benefits?

US NEWS

Which are the states with the highest disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs to assist people with disabilities in the United States.

Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI) is allocated along with the rest of the Social Security benefits for retired Americans. In April 2022 the number of disabled Americans benefitting from the program was more than 9 million. Another program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provides support for disabled people in the United States and recorded a total of 7.6 million monthly recipients.

When will Student Loan Forgiveness be available?

The Supreme Court will decide on the legality of President Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness initiative, one of the key elements of his legislative agenda for the remainder of his first term in office. Biden had hoped to roll out the debt relief before the end of the year but a series of legal challenges have prevented the distribution. 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in February and provide some clarity to borrowers. 

California’s price gouging penalty is simple – either Big Oil reins in the profits and prices, or they’ll pay a penalty.

Big Oil has been lying and gouging Californians to line their own pockets long enough. I look forward to the work ahead with our partners in the Legislature to get this done.

Gavin Newsom, California Governor
What are the cheapest and most expensive neighborhoods in NY in the real estate market?

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What are the cheapest and most expensive neighborhoods in NY in the real estate market?

Housing policy and real estate development have not been designed to ensure all New Yorkers have access to affordable and quality housing. Multi-million dollar penthouses are empty while more than fifty thousand people are unhoused, dependent on shelters to avoid sleeping on the streets.

Property Club NYC took inventory of the housing market and found that the boroughs with the lowest median house price were the Bronx ($519,000), Staten Island ($550,000), and Queens ($605,000). Brooklyn and Manhattan topped the list with a median sale price of $900,000 and $1.16 million, respectively.

Mortgage rates are sky high, prices are sky high, and there’s no inventory. This may be the worst time in my living history for the home buyer — it just doesn’t make sense.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics

Affordability was the worst it’s ever been, and that was before 7 percent mortgage rates.

Rick Palacios Jr., John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s director of research
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out to end the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.   Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

ELSA / AFP

Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Four

In 2019, the New York Times called Inwood the last affordable neighborhood in Manhattan. Located on the Northeastern part of the island, houses for sale range in value from $150,000 to $1.1 million. However, most fall into a range between $300,000 and $600,000.

Another ranking put together by Property Club points to the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island as the boroughs with the most affordable pockets. Over in the Bronx, neighborhoods including Parkchester, Spuyten Duyvil, Kingsbridge, and Riverdale have some homes for sale that do not reach $400,000 and some two and three-bedrooms that do not surpass a price tag of $250,000.

Are real estate prices dropping in New York City according experts?

US NEWS

Are real estate prices dropping in New York City according experts?

 It looks like house prices in New York are set to drop as the nation deals with an overinflated market as well as high mortgage rates, at least in comparison to the last two decades.

Mortgage rates are at their highest level for 20 years. The average 30-year fixed rate sits at 6.95%, more than double it was at the start of the year.

 New York house prices have been rising every month for the last five years. However, after a surging in price between July 2020 and July 2022 have begun to decrease. 

Morgan Stanley predicts home prices will fall 7 percent, from the peak of pricing in June 2022 to December 2023. Moody’s Analytics expects prices to drop 10 percent, from June to Summer 2024.

Gavin Newsom announces bill to penalize oil companies and engaged in price gouging

Latest News

Gavin Newsom announces bill to penalize oil companies and engaged in price gouging

Leaders in the Golden State unveiled a new bill Monday to penalize oil and gas companies for what they see as price gouging masked by talk of worker shortages, logistical challenging, and a lack of refining capacity.

For many, the most powerful the proposal is that it would allow the state to tax these big players operating in California if their margins are deemed excessively high.

The funds collected would enter a Price Gouging Penalty Fund and be returned to drivers who have paid more for gas than any other state. The legislature must determine what the state will consider the acceptable “maximum margin” for refiners, as well as the penalty applied once this upper limit has been reached. The name for this sort of initiative is a windfall profits tax, and, as to be expected, is opposed by the oil and gas sector.

Read our full coverage for the response from the industry and an answer to the question of if environmental regulation is to blame for the surge in prices at the pump. 

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