A Riverina pensioners advocate says the usual indexation boost is not enough for elderly people to keep up with the cost of living.
Australian United Pensioners Group NSW coordinator and treasurer John Hunter, based in Junee, is calling for an increase to age pension payments by at least $200 a week.
The Department of Social Services has revealed pensioners won't get their usual automatic increase this September because inflation has gone backwards.
Base pension rates are usually indexed twice a year in March and September to reflect changes in the cost of living.
But Mr Hunter said many people lived "pension to pension" and some sacrificed food to pay their rent and bills.
"Your pension comes in the first week, you go in and do your shopping and then you hope nothing comes up for the next week," he said.
"Because your pension basically goes the first week."
He estimated the cost of groceries had increased by "at least 50 to 60 per cent" in the past six months.
"[The indexation boost] doesn't really benefit us at all," he said.
"It's like a wage increase that will buy you a cup of coffee and a chicken sandwich, but it has already gone up [in price] by the time you get the pay increase, which means you can only buy the cup of coffee."
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He questioned why pensioners had not received a regular increase to their payments when the JobSeeker rate was raised in March to $1100 a fortnight.
"The word I'm getting from the people here in Junee is people who were given the [JobSeeker] payment are getting more than a single person on a pension or a couple on the pension," he said.
"So why weren't we given that increase during the process?"
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week told ABC he was examining the indexation issue, but pointed out pensioners had already received two one-off coronavirus stimulus payments of $750.
"The treasurer and I will work through those issues but we've already demonstrated that we've been stepping up," Mr Morrison said.
"Whether it's the need of pensioners, which includes disability pensioners, or those through JobKeeper or JobSeeker or businesses needing support to keep people in jobs ... we will just deal with that in the orderly way that we have with so many of these issues."
Mr Hunter said he would like to see a potential third stimulus payment given to pensioners by Christmas.
Wagga's Dawn McDermott, however, said she lived comfortably on her age pension and she "didn't mind" forgoing her increase in September.
"I think there are a lot of people worse off. And if they can help some of the younger ones who can't get work because of this virus then I think they should be trying to help them," Ms McDermott said.
"I suppose I live rather easily, and I do have good children that help look after me. But I do pay all my own bills."
The most recent indexation boost in March raised single age pensions by $10.90 a fortnight.