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Schauer Announces Vote to Help Seniors with Increasing Costs of Living

Press Release

Location: Battle Creek, MI

Today Congressman Mark Schauer (D-MI) announced that the U.S. House will move ahead with legislation to help seniors offset rising costs of living when Congress reconvenes in November. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported today that there will be no automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2011, and the Seniors Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 5987) will provide a $250 payment to about 54 million Social Security recipients.

"Seniors in Michigan are already struggling to survive on their benefits in a difficult economy, and two years without a cost of living adjustment puts unnecessary strain on their already limited budgets," said Schauer. "I'm proud to support this bill, which will help offset rising costs of living and make sure seniors are able to afford things like food and medicine."

For the first time ever, 2011 will be the second consecutive year that Social Security retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities will see no increase in their monthly Social Security, SSI, VA Pension and Compensation, and Railroad Retirement benefits. This situation is determined by the SSA and is a result of economic conditions.

The COLA is automatically calculated using data on inflation published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). October 15 is the day BLS releases the final economic factor that the SSA 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.

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