No Social Security COLA Increase in 2010….or in 2011

Date: December 4, 2009
Posted In: DLP Law

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, has announced that there will be no automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2010. “Social Security is doing its job helping Americans maintain their standard of living” Asture said. “Last year when consumer prices spiked, largely as a result of higher gas prices, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent COLA, the largest increase since 1982. This year, in light of the human need, we need to support President Obama\’s call for us to make another $250 recovery payment for 57 million Americans.”
The Social Security Act provides that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits increase automatically each year if there is an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year to the third quarter of the current year. This year there was no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009. In addition, because there was no increase in the CPI-W this year, under the law the starting point for determinations regarding a possible 2011 COLA will remain the third quarter of 2008.
With consumer prices down over the past year, monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 57 million Americans will not see an automatic COLA increase.
Economic forecasts by the Obama administration and the Congressional Budget Office also indicate that Social Security beneficiaries will not receive any cost-of-living increase in 2011.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.