For the second year in a row, the Social Security Administration is probably not going to provide a cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients because of the low rate of inflation.

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., plans to push legislation that would help make up for the lack of a COLA for senior citizens. He noted that while economy-wide measures of inflation have shown no net increase since the last COLA, which reflected price levels in the third quarter of 2008, Medicare premiums and health care costs have continued to rise. 

Pomeroy has introduced legislation, H.R. 5987, the Seniors Protection Act of 2010, which would assist 54 million American seniors, retired and disabled veterans, and disabled individuals with a one-time $250 payment that they deserve in the event that no inflation adjustment is announced this fall.

“Our seniors have everyday expenses for drugs, utilities, housing and food that have increased, regardless of the government’s Consumer Price Index formula,” he said in a statement. “Social Security benefits are very modest – amounting to only about $14,000 annually, on average – and seniors are already stretching their income as thinly as possible to make ends meet.”

“Although the CPI cost factors are far from Congress’ control, I believe that members will be energized when we return to Washington in November to quickly pass legislation that will help seniors, who would otherwise face a second year with no increase in Social Security benefits,” he added. 

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