Shortly after confirmation on Friday that for the second straight year there will be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security beneficiaries, the White House announced that President Obama intends to press Congress to approve a second $250 Economic Recovery Payment to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.
During May and June 2009, the Social Security Administration mailed checks for $250 to more than 52 million people receiving Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. At the same time, the Veterans Administration sent similar checks to some 1.9 million U.S. veterans and eligible VA beneficiaries.
According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, President Obama wants to do it all again this fall, but he'll need Congress to approve the expenditure.
"We're grateful that Speaker Pelosi (Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) has indicated she will bring the new Economic Recovery Payment to a vote and we urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support our seniors, veterans and others with disabilities who depend on these benefits," said Gibbs in a press statement.
Congress, however, will not be voting on the $250 payment -- or any other legislation -- until late-November at the earliest, after members return from the fall recess and dust from the midterm elections has begun to settle.
Why No COLA Again? Under current law, the Social Security Administration can apply a COLA increases only when there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year in which the COLA was approved. As determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was no increase in the CPI-W, so once again, no COLA.