As we near 2014, millions of Americans who receive Social Security disability benefits will receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA). The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the plans to increase a few weeks ago and will go into effect on January 1st. But for individuals who are just receiving benefits, or who are currently applying for benefits, what does this COLA increase mean?
For the millions of individuals receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security income (SSI), the monthly benefits will increase by 1.5 percent. In 2013, the average monthly income for individuals receiving SSDI benefits was $1,275. Starting on January 1st, 2014, these individuals will now receive on average $1,294 or about $19 more per month. Individuals receiving SSI benefits will receive $721 per month in 2014, up from $710 per month in 2013.
The COLA increase is not always guaranteed. It is a reflection of inflation, cost of food and living expenses. While the increase may not seem like a lot, the increase is often quite welcome to those who are unable to work and trying to make ends meet. Other updates under the COLA increase include an increase of the average wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax and an increase in the amount of earnings needed to acquire credits.
Social Security disability benefits can be hard to obtain and even harder to understand. Placing your trust in an experienced Social Security disability attorney will not only help you in obtaining your benefits, but also understanding how they will be distributed to you in the future. For questions about the COLA or Social Security disability benefits call us today for a free consultation.