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Stuart McAtee
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SSA Announces No Payment Increase for 2010

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As I have blogged about before, President Obama released extra payments earlier this year to millions of disabled Americans. For 2010, the outlook doesn’t look good for a cost of living increase based on the Social Security Administration’s denial of increased benefits for the upcoming calendar year. CNN is reporting no increase will occur: money.cnn.com/2009/10/14/news/economy/obama_seniors_payment/index.htm

It marks the first time that Social Security benefits have not been increased year over year since the cost-of-living adjustment was put into effect in 1975. To help counterbalance that, President Obama is calling on Congress to send another $250 relief payment to 57 million seniors and other Americans to stem the economic strain.

Congress approved $250 emergency payments as part of the $787 billion economic recovery act that lawmakers passed in February.

"Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession," Obama said in a statement Wednesday. "That is why I am announcing my support for an additional $250 in emergency recovery assistance to seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities to help them make it through these difficult times."

As with the first $250 emergency payment, the second one would be exempt from income tax, a senior administration official said in a call with reporters.

If approved by Congress, the payments would be sent out in 2010, most likely in the first half. "It wouldn’t be late in 2010," the administration official said. The measure would cost $13 billion over 10 years, according to White House estimates. The $250 is roughly equal to a 2% increase in benefits for the average Social Security beneficiary.

Let’s hope President Obama’s efforts to help those in need will pay off.