No COLA for Social Security benefits in 2016

Oct 18, 2015

As in 2010 and 2011, there will be no cost of living adjustment, or COLA, in 2016 for seniors and those receiving Supplemental Security Income.

Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin wrote to me this week, officially informing me of the decision. Social Security is keeping the benefit unchanged nationwide because there has been no increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

I do not think that this CPI-W is a good basis for the COLA decision. Seniors on Social Security often spend more on medication and food than younger consumers do. That is why I have cosponsored H.R. 3351, the CPI-E Act of 2015, that would calculate the annual cost of living adjustment based on what seniors really spend.

Social Security and SSI bring $28 million into the Northern Marianas economy each year and help some 3,600 seniors, disabled, and their families make ends meet.