U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday called it “unacceptable” that millions of seniors will get no annual cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security checks in 2016.
The announcement on Thursday by the Social Security Administration also means there will be no boost in benefits for disabled veterans.
Next year will be only the third time in 40 years that there will be no increase in benefits tied to the consumer price index. The way COLAs are calculated “is clearly broken and must be fixed,” Sanders said.
“It is unacceptable that millions of senior citizens and disabled veterans will not be receiving a cost-of-living adjustment to keep up with their rising living expenses,” he said. “At a time when senior poverty is going up and more than two-thirds of the elderly population rely on Social Security for more than half of their income, our job must be to expand, not cut, Social Security.”
Sanders has faulted the formula used by the Social Security Administration to determine how much benefits should go up each year in order to keep pace with rising living expenses.
He has proposed legislation to accurately measure inflation that reflects the spending patterns of seniors through a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. “Senior citizens spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care and prescription drugs and those costs continue to skyrocket,” Sanders said. “The reality is that most senior citizens are not in the habit of buying fancy computers, big screen TV’s and high-tech gadgets,” Sanders said.
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