October 20, 2010
CARSON TO PUSH FOR ONE-TIME PAYMENT TO AID SENIORS, VETERANS
INDIANAPOLIS - After the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it will not provide a Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for 2011, Congressman André Carson said today that he will push for legislation to issue a one-time $500 payment to Social Security recipients.
With the SSA citing fiscal and economic challenges, 2011 will be the second consecutive year that Social Security retirees, veterans and people with disabilities will see no increase in their monthly Social Security, SSI, VA Pension and Compensation, and Railroad Retirement benefits.
"Things still remain tough out there for Hoosier families as we continue to dig ourselves out of the deepest economic hole since the Great Depression," said Congressman Carson. "Times are especially tough for the millions of seniors who rely on Social Security for a majority, if not all, of their income.
"When Congress goes back into session in November, we need to act quickly to provide this one-time payment to help offset the lack of COLA increases," Carson said. "If there was ever a time that seniors, veterans and people with disabilities deserve help to make ends meet, it's now."
The COLA is automatically calculated using data on inflation published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2009, Social Security recipients saw a 5.8 percent increase in their benefits, the largest since 1982, as a result of rising costs; but in 2010, recipients saw no COLA at all. Currently six in ten seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income and about one third of seniors have little other than Social Security on which to live.
Social Security benefit levels are $14,000 a year for the average retiree. The median income for senior households is just $24,000, reflecting just how much Social Security means to most elderly Americans, Carson said.
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