Congress Says 'No' To Social Security Cola

March 2010

In 2010 Social Security recipients will get a goose egg instead of a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the federal government, making this the first year since 1975, that Social Security recipients will receive no COLA.

An amendment introduced to the Tax Extenders Act (HR 4213) by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sought to provide $250 to approximately 57 million seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities receiving Social Security.   

This payment would have been equivalent to how much senior citizens were given in 2009 as part of the economic recovery package. 

“In the midst of a major recession, with healthcare and prescription drug costs rising rapidly, we cannot forget about the millions of seniors and disabled veterans who are struggling hard to keep their heads above water,” said Senator Sanders. 

The amendment failed in the U.S Senate on March 3, 2010 by a vote of 47-50, with opponents saying that inflation has remained stagnant.

Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said, "The purchasing needs of seniors are unique, and often include medications needed to stay alive.  We insist that the Senate realize the importance of this $250 payment to struggling retirees."  

The average Social Security recipient receives $1,160 per month.