Target: Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
Goal: To ensure that Cost-of-Living Adjustment increases are obtained for federal recipients.
For only the third time since 1975, Cost of Living Annual (COLA) increases for 2016 will be 0.0 percent. This affects benefits for retired military, Veterans Affairs (VA) disability, and social security. This is due to the index being used to determine COLA increases indicates that there has been no inflation since last September. Basically, the drastic decrease in the cost of gasoline has wiped out all the other price increases.
There are approximately 80 million U.S. residents who receive federal payments each year. Prior to 1975, Social Security benefit increases were set by legislation. The formula used to calculate COLA, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), is flawed as it relies on families who make their incomes on wages and exclude retirees and the disabled who receive their income from federal payments. These groups have different spending patterns. Typically, those receiving federal payments spend less on gasoline – due to not commuting to a job – and more on health care, whose costs have been rising. Current trends show that federal payment recipients are spending a higher proportion of their income on their expenses.
A more accurate index to calculate payments for military retirees, VA disabilities, and social security recipients would be the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). This index actually measures spending by the elderly and would be a better indicator of how these recipients spend their federal payments.
It is time to ensure that those who most rely on federal payments – the military retirees, disabled veterans, and social security recipients – receive COLA increases based on the CPI-E. This indicator more accurately illustrates how these recipients spend their federal payments. By signing this petition, you will urge Acting Commissioner Colvin of the Department of Social Security to change the indicator used to determine federal payments to the CPI-E. Please help ensure that our disabled and retirees have enough money to pay for their health care and food.
Dear Acting Commissioner Colvin,
For only the third time since 1975, recipients of federal payments such as military retirees, disabled veterans, and social security recipients, will receive no increase in Cost of Living Adjustments in 2016. As you know, this was determined by the Consumer Price Index, which showed no net increase in costs due to the drastic reduction in gasoline prices.
Many of our federal payment recipients do not spend much of their income on gas. They do not commute to jobs and do not consume much gasoline. They do spend a large portion of their income on health care – and health care costs are increasing. This will lead to federal payment recipients spending a larger percentage of their income on health care as their payments are not increasing.
It is time to change the index used to determine the Cost of Living Adjustments from the Consumer Price Index to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. This index more accurately reflects how federal payment recipients allocate their income. We, the undersigned, urge you to change the index used to calculate COLA. Please help these at-risk citizens most in need of a payment increase.
[Your Name Here]
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