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Disabled to Get Small Increase in Social Security Benefits in January


Posted on Nov 12, 2012

The Social Security Administration announced a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in benefits starting in January 2013, which includes individuals who receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The average person receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits receives about $1,111 per month. On average, the increase will be slightly less than $19 per month, or roughly $227 for the year.

This is one of the smallest increases since Congress adopted automatic adjustments for inflation in 1975.

The annual cost-of-living adjustment, referred to as COLA, is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a government measure of inflation. The CPI-W measures changes in the cost of housing, food, transportation, energy, medical care, clothing, education, and recreation. To calculate the COLA, the Social Security Administration compares the average price index for the months of July, August, and September against the index for the same three months of the previous year. Despite the recent increase in gasoline prices, this year’s rate of inflation has been relatively low.

Social Security beneficiaries received a 3.6 percent increase in benefits in 2012, after two years of no increase. In 2010 and 2011, the rate of inflation was too low to merit a cost-of-living increase. On average, the annual cost-of-living increase since 1975 has been 4.2 percent.

Individuals who are receiving Medicare may see less of an increase. Premiums for Medicare Part B are expected to increase by approximately $7 a month next year. Medicare may also require higher copays in 2013.

SSDI provides income for adults younger than 65 who are unable to work because of a long-term disability or medical condition. SSI provides funds to meet the basic needs of low-income individuals with disabilities.

If you have a disability and are considering filing for Social Security disability benefits in New England, contact Keefe Disability Law toll free at 888-904-6847 for assistance. We will work with you to improve the chances of your application being approved.

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John L. Keefe
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