More than 60 million people Social Security beneficiaries in the United States will see a 1.5 percent cost of living increase in their benefit amount starting in January. This includes recipients of Social Security disability benefits (SSDI).
The Houston Social Security lawyers at The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead know that cost of living increases, or COLA, are vital for those who receive disability benefits because the costs of housing, electricity, food and other day-to-day essentials are constantly rising. To keep up with these costs, monthly benefits payments have to rise to meet the needs of beneficiaries.
The average SSDI beneficiary receives $1,131 a month currently. In 2014, that average amount will rise to $1,148. This COLA is on par with last year’s increase, which was 1.7 percent. It falls far short of the 2012 COLA, which was 3.6 percent, but an improvement over 2011 and 2010, when inflation was not high enough to warrant one.
The cost of living increase is based on the rise in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, termed the CPI-W, in the third quarter of this year. When no increase is reported, then there is no increase in benefits, according to Houston Social Security lawyers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Labor of Bureau Statistics determines the CPI-W.
Our Houston Social Security disability lawyers note that the recent drop in gas prices across the country pushed the Consumer Price Index down, showing a low inflation rate.