Social Security recipients in Western New York and around the country would get a one-time extra payment of $580 under legislation being pushed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and several of his Democratic colleagues, Schumer said on Wednesday.
The bonus would replace the annual cost-of-living increase in benefits that recipients usually get.
This year, for only the third time in recent decades, inflation is so low that Social Security recipients are not in line for a raise. Schumer said that’s because the government relies on an inappropriate inflation measure that gives too much weight to the drop in gasoline and energy prices, which affects the elderly and the disabled less than the general population.
“Millions of seniors, veterans, and individuals who are disabled deserve and need a little more money in their Social Security checks to help pay for the ever-increasing cost of rent, medicine and groceries,” Schumer said. “But unless Congress acts, and acts fast, Upstate New Yorkers will not see any increase in their earned benefits this year – meaning it will be harder for some of our most vulnerable to pay for their living expenses.”
To change all that, Schumer is pushing the Seniors and Veteran Emergency Benefits Act, which would provide for a one-time bonus payment. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is the chief sponsor of the legislation. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is also a cosponsor.