WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 58 million Social Security recipients are still getting monthly benefits during the partial government shutdown. But they will have to wait to find out the size of next year’s cost-of-living adjustment.
Social Security was scheduled to announce the annual raise October 16. That’s the same day the Labor Department was scheduled to release inflation statistics for September.
The Labor Department, however, said Wednesday it will not issue the inflation report because of the shutdown. No new release date was set.
By law, the inflation numbers for July, August and September are used each year to calculate next year’s automatic increase in benefits, or COLA. Without a report for September, the government cannot announce the COLA.
The COLA is scheduled to take effect for January payments. The COLA is announced in October to give Social Security and other federal retirement programs time to adjust payments.
The Social Security Administration has given no indication that raises would be delayed but advocates for seniors said the uncertainty was unwelcome.