10/19/10 Monday Congressman Joe Donnelly announced his support for a vote expected in the House of Representatives next month that would provide eligible seniors with a one-time payment of $250.  The payment would be intended to provide relief to seniors facing a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase in their Social Security benefits.

“I am looking forward to casting another vote to protect Hoosier seniors.  A second straight year without a COLA increase during these tough economic times is too much to ask for those living on fixed incomes,” Congressman Donnelly said.  “Our retired seniors worked hard and paid their Social Security taxes, and they deserve the benefits they earned.”

Congressional leaders have indicated that they expect to hold a vote on the $250 payment once Congress resumes voting activity following the November 2 election.  The first day of scheduled votes is Monday, November 15.  President Obama has expressed support for the vote.

Social Security COLA increases are automatic calculations based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), updated monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Since prices fell in 2009 according to the CPI-W, no annual COLA was provided in January 2010, the first time there was no COLA since automatic updates began in 1973.  And while the CPI-W has measured a price increase in 2010, the increase did not bring prices above the level prior to the 2009 loss.  This past week, the Social Security Administration announced this will result in no COLA being provided in January 2011.