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2015-12-10

Bi-partisan bill could provide COLA for seniors & veterans

Contributed

Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) recently revealed that a new bill, which would provide a 1 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase in Social Security and Veterans benefits in 2016, has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The proposed bill is being backed by AMAC.
"This bi-partisan initiative is sponsored by Representatives Frank Guinta, a Republican from New Hampshire, and Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona," Weber said. "It provides for a 1 percent COLA increase in checks for seniors and veterans starting in January."
Weber issued an urgent appeal to the association's 1.3 million members and the public at large to contact their lawmakers and encourage them to support the Guinta-Sinema legislation - HR 4140.
In October, officials with the Social Security Administration announced that there would be no Cost of Living benefits increases in fiscal year 2016.
It's only the third time in the last 40 years that nearly 70 million Americans will be denied a COLA. The government concluded that due to a flat year-to-year Consumer Price Index - a major component of which is the price of gasoline which fell sharply from 2014 to 2015 - senior citizens and veterans should be denied a much-needed benefits increase.
"With mounting evidence suggesting senior citizens are largely unaffected by falling gas prices, and with many experts predicting even greater increases in healthcare and food costs, HR 4140 offers welcomed relief to cash-strapped seniors and veterans," Weber said.
While the bill will not overturn the no-COLA decision, it will provide senior citizens and veterans with a one-time, 1 percent payment equal to a 1 percent Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment. Its sponsors said that the cost of the one-time payment - estimated to be between $9 and $11 billion - will be offset by an equal amount of federal spending cuts.