For the first time since cost-of-living adjustments went into effect in 1975, the 37 million American seniors who receive monthly Social Security checks are forecast to receive no increase whatsoever.

Since automatic raises were first established, seniors have never received less than 1.3 percent.

But according to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2009 budget report, no increase is forecast for 2010, a direct impact of expected declines in consumer prices in the third quarter of 2009.

“If Social Security benefits don’t start catching up to the real rise in costs, we’re going to see a wave of seniors falling beneath the poverty line,” says Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League. A study released by O’Connell’s group suggests that seniors have lost 51 percent of their buying power since 2000.