Rep. Maloney reacts to announcement of no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for second straight year

Oct 15, 2010
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today reacted to the Social Security Administration’s announcement today that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to next year’s social security checks.

“This announcement is disappointing but not a surprise, given the very low rate of inflation as it is calculated,” Rep. Maloney said. “That’s why I’m gratified that Speaker Pelosi has committed to moving ahead with legislation later this year that will provide Social Security recipients with a one-time $250 payment in 2011.” “The lingering effects of the worst economy since the Great Depression mean those Americans who need Social Security benefits to survive can’t afford to tread water,” said Rep. Maloney. “That’s why I co-sponsored H.R. 5987, the Seniors Protection Act, to provide a $250 payment to about 54 million Americans in lieu of no increase in their monthly income. The President has already budgeted for this and we can do it in a fiscally responsible way. We can’t leave seniors on Main Street behind as we begin this recovery.”

The Social Security COLA is automatically calculated using data on inflation published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). October 15 is the day the BLS releases the final economic factor that the Social Security Administration uses to calculate the annual COLA. In 2009, Social Security recipients saw a 5.8% increase in their benefits, the largest since 1982, as a result of rising costs; but in 2010, they saw no COLA at all.

Social Security benefit levels are modest – only $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. Six in ten seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income, and about a third of retirees have little other than Social Security on which to live.