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SSD & SSI; No COLA in 2010 & 2011 [View All]

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dajoki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 01:33 PM
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SSD & SSI; No COLA in 2010 & 2011
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Social Security will not raise benefits in 2010, forecasts say
By Robert Pear
New York Times
http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_12281478?nclick_...
Posted: 05/02/2009 06:12:38 PM PDT
Updated: 05/02/2009 10:06:51 PM PDT

WASHINGTON For the first time in more than three decades, Social Security recipients will not get any increase in their benefits next year, federal forecasts show.

The absence of a cost-of-living adjustment, calculated under a formula set by law, will be a shock to older Americans already hit by plummeting home values, investment losses and rising health costs. More than 50 million people receive Social Security.

"Most seniors have never been through a year in which there was no Social Security COLA," said David M. Certner, legislative counsel at AARP, the lobby for older Americans. Beneficiaries have received automatic cost-of-living adjustments every year since 1975. The increase this year was 5.8 percent.

<<snip>>

The forecasts, by the Obama administration and the Congressional Budget Office, indicate that Social Security beneficiaries will not receive any cost-of-living increase in 2010 or in 2011. The COLA is intended to preserve the purchasing power of Social Security.

A freeze in Social Security benefits would have major implications for Medicare because the COLA, in effect, puts a cap on premiums for Part B of Medicare, which covers doctors' services.

If there is no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, about three-fourths of beneficiaries will not see any change in their basic Part B premiums, federal officials said. But some beneficiaries do not have this protection and could face substantial increases in their Part B premiums.

Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, predicted that inflation would remain low for several years, so Social Security might not pay a cost-of-living increase until January 2013. President Barack Obama's budget assumes no increase in 2010 or 2011, then a 1.4 percent COLA in 2012.
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