No Social Security, SSI Increase For 2011
Millions of Americans with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income will see no automatic rise in their payments in 2011, the Social Security Administration said Friday.
The reason: inflation is too low for an automatic cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, government officials said.
By law, annual increases to Social Security benefits are tied to a rise in inflation, but economists say consumer prices have not altered significantly enough to trigger an increase. Accordingly, the coming year will be just the second since COLA was established in 1975 that benefits will not rise. The first time this happened was in 2010.
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Without COLA, the maximum monthly payment an individual on SSI will be able to receive from the federal government will remain flat at $674, while couples will continue to be eligible for up to $1,011 monthly.
Members of Congress are moving quickly to try to soften the blow. Leaders of the House of Representatives said they will vote on a bill in November to provide one-time payments of $250 to more than 50 million Social Security recipients, much like the payments made to government beneficiaries in 2009.
White House officials say President Barack Obama supports efforts to provide the additional one-time payments to seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities.