U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today cosponsored a resolution opposing a reduction in cost of living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security or veterans' benefits. More than two million North Carolinians depend on Social Security and hundreds of thousands of North Carolina veterans and surviving military family members receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the millions of North Carolina seniors, veterans and survivingmilitary family members who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits," Hagan said. "I strongly oppose reducing their cost of living adjustments because doing so would shortchange middle-class North Carolinians who are still struggling to put food on the table, pay the bills and afford critical health care services. Instead, we must take steps to reduce the deficit in a balanced and responsible way."
The negative effects of the proposed new method for calculating Social Security COLAs would grow as a beneficiary ages. In the long-term, benefits would be cut significantly, meaning seniors on average would receive $658 less at age 75; $1,147 less at age 85; and $1,622 less at age 95.
Furthermore, disabled veterans would face significant cuts in benefits. For example, a 30-year-old disabled veteran who started receiving VAdisability compensation due to a 100 percent service-connected disability would have his or her benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55, and $3,231 at age 65.