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Lawmakers Propose New Increase on Social Security Payments

Sept. 13, 2009

Some lawmakers are pushing for a new increase on the Social Security payments for disabled people and retirees. However, the move will cost the government billions of dollars, thus aggravating the looming budget deficit of the country.

The proposal came after the Social Security Administration (SSA) said it will not adjust the payment benefits next year. If this happens, it will be the first time since 1975 the agency would not implement the “Cost of Living Adjustment” (COLA).

SSA usually increases the benefits every year to accommodate inflation or the increase of prices of goods and services.

Last January, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent increase in their payments. This adjustment is based on 2008 economic data.

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y recently introduced a legislation that will allow SSA beneficiaries to receive a $150 one-time payment to compensate for the loss of COLA.

If this bill will push through, it will cost the government approximately $7.5 billion.

During a previous interview, McCarthy said the one-time payment will help seniors to afford the rising cost of healthcare services.

While inflation is expected to remain low in the next year, the cost of Medicare is projected to increase by 9 percent in 2010.

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