Every year, the Social Security Administration announces the percentage by which beneficiariesâ€™ payments will increase in according with changes in the cost of living. These increases, known as cost of living adjustments (COLA), have been rather small the last couple yearsâ€”1.5 percent for 2014 and 1.7 percent for 2013â€”compared to the 2012 increase, which was 3.6 percent. For 2011 and 2010, there was actually no increase at all. Compare that to the 1975 increase of 8 percent, and the 1980 increase of 14.3 percent.
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the 2015 COLA would be 1.7 percent, which will result an increase of between $22 and $1,328 per month for retired workers. The cost of living adjustments are intended, of course, to keep pace with inflation by adjusting payments to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which is put together by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Â
The COLA is determined by comparing the CPI-W from the third quarter of the last year a COLA was determine to the average CPI-W for the third quarter of the present year. If there is any increase, that is the percentage used to increase Social Security payments. The cost of living adjustments also apply to beneficiaries of the Social Security disability program.
Social Security disability benefits are an important resource for many Americans, and those who feel they may be eligible for these benefits can often benefit from working with an experienced attorney. Doing so can help one to put together a thorough application and to navigate the appeals process if this becomes necessary.
Source: Bloomberg BNA, â€œSocial Security Benefit Payments To Increase by 1.7 Percent in 2015,â€ Larry Swisher, Oct. 22, 2014.Â