Social Security COLA

Trays of printed Social Security checks wait to be mailed Feb. 11, 2005, from the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management services facility in Philadelphia. For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients can expect an historically small increase in benefits come January.

AP/Bradley C Bower

WASHINGTON — For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January.

Preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of roughly 1.5 percent, which would be among the smallest since automatic increases were adopted in 1975, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

Next year’s raise will be small because consumer prices, as measured by the government, haven’t gone up much in the past year.

The exact size of the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, won’t be known until the Labor Department releases the inflation report for September. That was supposed to happen Wednesday, but the report was delayed indefinitely because of the partial government shutdown.

The COLA is usually announced in October to give Social Security and other benefit programs time to adjust January payments. The Social Security Administration has given no indication that raises would be delayed because of the shutdown, but advocates for seniors said the uncertainty was unwelcome.

Social Security benefits have continued during the shutdown.

More than one-fifth of the country is waiting for the news.

Nearly 58 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security benefits. The average monthly payment is $1,162. A 1.5 percent raise would increase the typical monthly payment by about $17.

The COLA also affects benefits for more than 3 million disabled veterans, about 2.5 million federal retirees and their survivors, and more than 8 million people who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor.

Automatic COLAs were adopted so benefits for people on fixed incomes would keep up with rising prices. Many seniors, however, complain the COLA sometimes falls short, leaving them little wiggle room.

Since 1975, annual Social Security raises have averaged 4.1 percent. Only six times have they been less than 2 percent, including this year, when the increase was 1.7 percent. There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low.

Once the September report, the final piece of the puzzle, is released, the COLA can be announced officially. If prices continued to slowly inch up in September, that would put the COLA at roughly 1.5 percent.

(1) comment


SInce both Democrats and GOP have stolen from the Social Security fund to pay for the Korean and Vietnam,and the recent Middle East wars. Both parties own those of us on Social Security some kind of pay back for using our money for those loans.
And so we need a new party that I hope to form called the Pay Back party.

and the more members we get in congress the better chances of making Social Security more secure and give we non GOP people a larger increase in our pay.
Notice I said non GOP voters only as the GOP opposed S S from the beginning and wanted to impeach FDR for making it a law.

And in the current shutdown and raising the debt limits .Ted Cruz and his evil nut cases want to decrease Social Security even more . ANd the Pay Back Party response is to give the GOP/ tea party its wish. by only paying one dollar at the SS age but to keep paying into the SS fund so we non GOP people can get a raise So only those registered GOP / tea party folks will only get one dollar from the fund and still pay into the SS fund and those GOP / Tea Party folks whom are now getting full benefits will have to pay back all that money to we non GOP/ tea Party ,

And as far as the Democrats go and to get their support in the PAY BACK Party response to the GOP/ tea party . they would not be on the GOP/tea party list to get the PAY BACK we will give to the Ted Cruz nut cases.
And Since the Texas GOP has cursed us with Ted Cruz in addition to registered GOP and tea party will besides paying into and not getting more than a dollar.A ted Crus and Betsy Ross tax that equals to a tax on all registered GOP/ tea party voters of 55% of all income. ( the Betsy Rose tax is for not giving women equal rights under the US Constitution which was written at the time Betsy Rose made the first USA flag but women would and still do not have equal rights until they got the vote and not the Texas GOP still do not recognize have a Constitution right.

However women whom registered as a GOP or tea party would if they quit the GOP and tea party not have to pay the SS tax and the Betsy Rose and Ted Cruz tax.

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