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Lowest Social Security Raise in Years, Analysts Say

Posted on Nov 04, 2013

Each year, Social Security raises the amount paid to disabled recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees. This year, just as last year, the raise that Social Security recipients have anxiously awaited will be historically low.

According to preliminary figures, the benefit is expected to only increase 1.5 percent. This is the smallest increase since 1975, an Associated Press analysis found. The lower Social Security raise is likely due to the fact that the measurement of consumer prices by the government hasn’t gone up as much from the year before.

The final adjustment of the highly anticipated cost-of-living adjustment is still not known, and won’t be determined until final inflation reports arrive at the Labor Department. The partial government shutdown has delayed these reports from coming in.

In the past, the annual Social Security raise was announced in October. This was done so that there was enough time to make the adjustment by January. The Social Security Administration has not said that the raises would be delayed because of the shutdown, but many people remain uncertain.

The raises will impact 3 million disabled veterans, and more than 8 million people that receive SSI. A 1.5 percent raise would only increase the average monthly payment by $17.

As Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers, our concern remains with those impacted by the raise (or lack of a raise). We are glad that Social Security disability benefits have continued during the shutdown, but know that millions of people across the country are anxiously awaiting how much they can expect in terms of a raise in their benefits so that they can plan for the future.


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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law