Social Security Administration to Issue One-Time
Payments to Approximately 50 Million Beneficiaries
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced
that it will issue one-time payments to approximately 50 million
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.
These special payments will compensate individuals for shortfalls
in their benefits caused by an error the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) made in the calculation of the consumer price index (CPI).
SSA uses the CPI to calculate annual increases, or cost-of-living
adjustments (COLA), in benefit levels for Social Security and SSI
Lump-sum retroactive payments are scheduled for delivery
on July 16 to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries. For the majority,
these payments will total up to $19, or $1 per month for January
2000 through July 2001. Beneficiaries do not need to contact SSA.
Beginning with the monthly benefit payment received
in August 2001, fully adjusted benefits will be issued. These payments
will include the increased amount due, based on the recalculated
CPI. Since the error was so small (1/10 of 1 percent) not all beneficiaries
will be due an increase in their monthly benefit payment.
"Social Security is taking this action to ensure
that beneficiaries receive every single dollar that they deserve.
Even though it is a relatively small amount, every dollar counts
for people who live on fixed incomes," said Larry G. Massanari,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security. "These payments will
compensate people receiving Social Security and SSI benefits for
payments they would have received had there been no error in the
consumer price index."
As a result of the CPI error, the December 1999 cost-of-living
adjustment -- paid in January 2000 -- was one-tenth (1/10) of one
percent below what it would have been had the error not occurred.
As a result, the COLA applied to Social Security and SSI payments
was 2.4 percent, rather 2.5 percent.
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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: A fact
sheet showing the Consumer Price Index Fix is attached.
Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security
information and statistics,
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security
Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSAs
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.
SSA Press Office 4-H-9
West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973