For the second year in a row, Social Security recipients and disabled veterans can expect a very small increase in benefits for 2014. According to the Associated Press, next year’s benefits will only increase by about 1.5 percent. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be small because the consumer price index – as measured by the United States government – has not increased much in the past year. This will likely be one of the lowest raises in history, since cost-of-living adjustments were adopted in 1975.
The exact measurement of the COLA won’t be known for sure until the U.S. Labor Department releases inflation information for the month of September. The COLA is generally announced in October, giving benefit programs enough time to adjust January payments. This data has unfortunately been delayed indefinitely due to the government shutdown , but the Social Security Administration has not indicated that raises would be delayed because of the shutdown.
More than 57 million retired and disabled workers and their families receive Social Security benefits. On average, Social Security beneficiaries receive $1,162 per month. A 1.5 percent adjustment would likely increase the average monthly payment by roughly $17. The cost-of-living adjustment also affects disability benefits for more than 3 million disabled veterans. About 2.5 million federal retirees and their families and recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will also be affected by the COLA.
Seniors and disabled citizens are already having a hard time dealing with expenses and financial strain. “Social Security COLAs have been low, and anybody who’s trying to live off interest rates and getting returns on any of the meager savings they have is getting killed because there’s no return on your CDs or other fixed income assets,” says David Certner of AARP. “Health care costs have slowed down. But, at least on the income side, it has been a pretty tough few years in terms of trying to keep up with expenses.”
For more information on COLA and how it affects your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the experienced Social Security legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We are available 24/7 to discuss your rights and options for receiving the benefits you deserve. We can meet you at home, or at any of our offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Orangeburg, Walterboro, and Moncks Corner. Call today to get the help and answers you need.