The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Linda Benesch,

An Adequate Social Security COLA Once Every Four Decades is Not Enough


The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, in advance of the Social Security Administration's announcement of the 2022 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which is expected to be released tomorrow:

"After four decades of inadequate Social Security COLAs, beneficiaries are finally expected to receive one that more closely matches their rising costs. But large as it may appear on paper, it is not nearly enough for seniors and people with disabilities on fixed incomes to make ends meet.

Social Security beneficiaries face substantial and rising health care costs, forcing too many to cut back on prescribed medication or go without food. While a more adequate COLA in 2022 is welcome, it is far from a solution to our nation's retirement income crisis.

To address that, as well as other challenges facing the nation, including the squeeze on working families and destabilizing income and wealth inequality, we need to expand Social Security. Moreover, we need to change the formula for calculating COLAs so that it accurately measures the rising expenses beneficiaries face every year, not just once every forty years. We also need to control health care costs, including the outrageous prices of prescription drugs.

Congressional Democrats must include a robust provision in the Build Back Better Act allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. That will ensure seniors and people with disabilities keep more of next year's COLA in their pockets, and out of the pockets of Big Pharma CEOs."

Social Security Works' mission is to: Protect and improve the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations; Safeguard the economic security of those dependent, now or in the future, on Social Security; and Maintain Social Security as a vehicle of social justice.