Meanwhile, The Associated Press earlier this week conducted its own analysis using preliminary inflation figures and said retirees should expect a roughly 1.5 percent benefit increase next year -- one of the smallest since the automatic adjustments began in 1975.
Since 1975, the adjustments have averaged 4.1 percent. Only six times have they been below 2 percent. There was no adjustment in 2010 or 2011, because inflation was too low, and last year the adjustment was 1.7 percent.
While the last three years have brought small or no adjustments, Miller said seniors have been forced to absorb large increases in utility and prescription drug prices over the same time period.
"We think the current formula of calculating the COLA is flawed," she said. "It doesn't really fly in West Virginia or for older people, because the kind of things they buy are not as included in that urban market basket."
She said the average senior spends about 17 percent of their income on out-of-pocket medical costs. Meanwhile, the current CPI calculations only gives medical costs about a 7 percent weighting in its calculation.
"There's a current problem and it will only be exacerbated by the chained CPI calculation," she said.
While AARP expects the adjustment for next year to be between 1.5 and 1.7 percent, Miller said the chained CPI calculation would have lowered that to 1.2 to 1.4 percent.
With Social Security representing 90 percent or more of the income for one out of every four seniors in the state, Miller said West Virginia seniors stand to lose a great deal over time should the chained CPI measure be enacted.
That's why the organization has been pushing to separate Social Security reform from the current budget process. AARP leaders say that would give Congress more flexibility to explore other options, like increasing the cap on payroll taxes or limiting benefits for some wealthier retirees.
"We need our leaders to find solutions and common ground and work toward compromise that allows Social Security and Medicare to have their own conversations on how we strengthen them for the future," Miller said.
"It's not just AARP's opinion, we've been hearing it's from the people," she said. "Regardless of a person's political party, their gender, income or where they are in the age spectrum, by far and away our people think these are earned benefits that should have their own conversation."
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.