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October 16, 2009

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Obama proposes US$250 for needy

ELDERLY and disabled Americans will see no boost in their Social Security checks next year for the first time since 1975 due to scant inflation, the United States government said yesterday.

Instead, President Barack Obama has proposed giving them a one-time check for US$250 in 2010, at a cost of US$13 billion, to help senior citizens, disabled people and military veterans weather the economic recession.

The annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the 57 million people receiving monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits is pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

"Last year when consumer prices spiked, largely as a result of higher gas prices, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent COLA, the largest increase since 1982," Michael Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, said.

This year there was no increase in the CPI from the third quarter of 2008.


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