Computer Glitch Nets Extra Social Security Check

April 30, 2001 ( - Retirees could be getting an extra check in July, courtesy of a government computer glitch.

A software glitch in 1999 caused the Bureau of Labor Statistics to miscalculate consumer inflation as 2.4%, rather than 2.5%.  As a result of the CPI error, the December 1999 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) paid in January 2000 was increased by less than it should have been.

Dollar Days

The shortfall for the majority of beneficiaries is $1 per month – about $19 per recipient. That 0.1% difference is reportedly costing the government about $50 million to correct.

About 45 million retirement beneficiaries and some 6 million recipients of supplemental security will get the one-time checks in mid-July, according to Social Security Administration officials.

The extra payments will occur automatically, with no action required by the retirees.  They will receive a written explanation, however (details at ).

Adjusted payment amounts will begin effective with the August 2001 payment.