Tester applauds Social Security ‘cost of living’ increase for Montana’s seniors

Senator calls on colleagues to approve his measure to increase veterans’ benefits

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today welcomed the announcement by the U.S. Social Security Administration that Montana’s nearly 200,000 Social Security recipients will see a 3.6 percent cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits beginning in 2012. 

“Social Security benefits have got to always keep pace with economic realities, and for too many years those benefits have fallen short.  That’s why I’m working to strengthen the program for this generation and for our kids and grandkids.  Today’s announcement is a long-overdue step to see that Montana’s seniors receive the fair benefits they earned and paid for.  These benefits are critical in helping Montana’s seniors live their lives with good health, independence and dignity.”

Following today’s announcement, Tester called on the Senate to approve a similar increase for disabled veterans’ benefits.  Tester is a sponsor of the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which would also increase disabled veterans’ benefits by 3.6 percent.

“The folks who were injured serving our country are no less deserving, and in no less need.  We must do right by them,” Tester added.

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) are calculated automatically every year.  Benefits have not increased since 2009.

That’s why in 2010, Tester voted for a one-time $250 check for Social Security recipients.  He also recently pushed the Social Security Administration to adjust the way its COLA is calculated each year to better reflect the economic realities of everyday Americans.