Crowley Applauds Social Security COLA Increase for New York Seniors

Oct 22, 2014 Issues: Seniors

(Queens, NY) - Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, applauded the announcement that there will be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients (SSI) in 2015. Next year, monthly benefits will increase by 1.7 percent, which on average equals an additional $22 a month.

“For so many seniors in my district and nationwide, Social Security is more than just a retirement program – it is a lifeline,” said Rep. Crowley. “This COLA increase will bring some much-needed relief to the pocketbooks of seniors and beneficiaries, and will help many New Yorkers meet the rising costs of everyday expenses, like rent and utilities.”

Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, Social Security was created at a time when the American economy had crumbled and was struggling to recover. Pensions were almost non-existent, and a majority of seniors were unable to support themselves after retirement. Today, more than 50 million Americans, including 3.2 million in New York, rely on Social Security’s guaranteed benefits for retirement security or to make ends meet, put food on the table and stay in their homes.

Since 1975, Social Security benefits have been automatically adjusted each year to maintain purchasing power, keeping millions of seniors from falling into poverty as they age. Social Security beneficiaries will begin to see next year’s increased payments on January 1, 2015.

The news of the Social Security COLA increase comes on the heels of a recent announcement that seniors on Medicare will not see any increase in premium costs for Medicare Part B, which covers doctors’ visits and outpatient care, in 2015.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.