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With No Cost Of Living Adjustment For 3.4 Million NY Seniors, Veterans And Disabled, Gillibrand Pushes For One-Time $250 Emergency Payment

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

With 3.4 million New Yorkers facing no annual cost of living increase from the Social Security Administration next year, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today pushed for legislation that would issue direct emergency payments of $250 to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities to help them afford basic necessities and stimulate the economy. Cost of living adjustments are tied to the Consumer Price Index, which declined this year because of the economic downturn. As a result, Social Security payments for next year will not include a cost of living adjustment this year for nearly 60 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients nationwide.

"In these tough economic times, we need to make sure we're delivering for New York's seniors, people with disabilities and veterans," Senator Gillibrand said. "With no cost of living adjustment for Social Security next year, these federal dollars will help make sure millions of New York seniors, people with disabilities and veterans can continue to pay bills and put food on the table. These emergency payments would have the added benefit of stimulating economic growth, helping save jobs at many of the small business that serve our seniors, people with disabilities and veterans."

Nearly 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries depend on these benefits for at least half of their income. Social Security checks are the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients. In addition to providing a lifeline for seniors, the $250 payment would provide effective economic stimulus because it puts money in the hands of those who need it most and who spend it immediately - injecting activity back into the sluggish economy.

Additionally, this $250 benefit would ensure that seniors, veterans and people with disabilities receive an equivalent benefit to those received in the Recovery Act, which provided a $500 tax credit to most Americans, but only a one-time $250 payment for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

To compensate for the lack of a cost of living adjustment next year and make sure seniors, veterans and people with disabilities get the resources they have earned and rely on, Senator Gillibrand is pushing for legislation that would deliver a one-time emergency payment of $250 - the equivalent of a 2 percent increase in Social Security benefits - to 3.4 million New York seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

READ Senator Gillibrand's report on how much New York would receive in emergency payments.

In New York City, nearly 1.3 million seniors and people with disabilities would receive over $320 million;

In Western New York, over 315,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive nearly $80 million;

In the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region, nearly 250,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive over $60 million;

In Central New York, nearly 210,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive over $50 million;

In the Southern Tier, nearly 150,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive nearly $40 million;

In the Capital Region, over 215,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive nearly $55 million;

In the North Country, nearly 100,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive nearly $25 million;

In the Hudson Valley, over 380,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive over $95 million;

On Long Island, over 495,000 seniors and people with disabilities would receive over $120 million.


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