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COLAs

There were no cost of living allowances (COLAs) to combat inflation’s effects on monthly Social Security payments until 1950. Social Security recipients were pretty thirsty before they got their first COLA, which increased the payouts by 77%. After that, COLAs, as passed by Congress, came along pretty irregularly in 1952, 1954, 1959, 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1971, until in 1972, COLAs were finally made automatic. The annual increases are based on the consumer price index. The law did not become effective until 1975, so Congress had to enact three more temporary COLAs until it became automatic.


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