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Friday July 12th, 2001

Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973


Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

Social Security Administration to Issue One-Time Payments to Approximately 50 Million Beneficiaries

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it will issue one-time payments to approximately 50 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries. These special payments will compensate individuals for shortfalls in their benefits caused by an error the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) made in the calculation of the consumer price index (CPI). SSA uses the CPI to calculate annual increases, or cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), in benefit levels for Social Security and SSI payments.

Lump-sum retroactive payments are scheduled for delivery on July 16 to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries. For the majority, these payments will total up to $19, or $1 per month for January 2000 through July 2001. Beneficiaries do not need to contact SSA.

Beginning with the monthly benefit payment received in August 2001, fully adjusted benefits will be issued. These payments will include the increased amount due, based on the recalculated CPI. Since the error was so small (1/10 of 1 percent) not all beneficiaries will be due an increase in their monthly benefit payment.

"Social Security is taking this action to ensure that beneficiaries receive every single dollar that they deserve. Even though it is a relatively small amount, every dollar counts for people who live on fixed incomes," said Larry G. Massanari, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. "These payments will compensate people receiving Social Security and SSI benefits for payments they would have received had there been no error in the consumer price index."

As a result of the CPI error, the December 1999 cost-of-living adjustment -- paid in January 2000 -- was one-tenth (1/10) of one percent below what it would have been had the error not occurred. As a result, the COLA applied to Social Security and SSI payments was 2.4 percent, rather 2.5 percent.

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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: A fact sheet showing the Consumer Price Index Fix is attached.

Note: Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.

SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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