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Low inflation means no cost of living increase for disability benefits

A push by some federal lawmakers to give the folks who depend on Social Security disability checks a one-time payment seems to be caught up in partisan fighting.

The idea of the $250 checks, which would be sent to the over 50 million people who depend on Social Security checks, was brought up when it became clear that due to low inflation there would be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients this year.  This is the second year in a row that there would be no checks.

If passed, the measure would cost $13 to $14 billion, and would mean an extra $250 this year for all SSDI recipients.  However, the measure has not been successful so far, and as it stands will not be voted on again until the ‘lame duck’ session in November.

One of the holdups is concern over how the measure will be paid for.  The initial proposal called for the $13 to $14 billion to be added on top of our country’s already staggering $12 trillion federal debt.  Some lawmakers have proposed taking the money from unused stimulus funds, however this idea did not gain traction. 

Others have reasoned seniors and the disabled need this money more than the wealthy.  If lawmakers give up the idea of allowing those making over $250,000 a year to keep the Bush tax cuts, an extra $70 billion would be saved, making the $250 checks seem more affordable.

Only time will tell if Washington politicians can stop bickering long enough to do what is right for our nation’s seniors and disabled individuals who depend on cost of living increases to make ends meet.

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