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  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security Recipients

    By Gabriela Raful, Esquire

    Social Security is the largest social program in the United States. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers several programs.  In addition to the most well known program, Old Age, Retirement and Survivors’ benefits, Social Security administers two types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration has determined a 1.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for those receiving Social Security benefits. Those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as well as those receiving Supplemental Security Income Benefits will see a 1.7 percent increase in their checks.

    Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are potentially available to individuals who have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system over a period of years. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are the second disability program administered by the SSA.  To be eligible to receive SSI, an adult individual must be found unable to work, just as with SSDI, but eligibility is not based upon having worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system because these benefits are funded by the federal government.  Rather, a person must meet certain financial and U.S. residency requirements in addition to being unable to work to be eligible for SSI.

    Social Security benefits are vital to the elderly, disabled, and survivors who receive them.  However, they are never enough to make ends meet. This is the main reason why, since 1972, the Social Security Administration provides automatic increases to account for inflation. SSA increases the benefits as a reflection in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) prepared by the Bureau of Labors Statistics (BLS). The main purpose of COLA is to maintain the purchasing power of the benefits.

    Next year’s COLA is significantly less than this year’s 3.6 percent increase. However, the 2012 COLA was the first increase since 2008.

    As of January 1, 2013, those entitled to SSDI, retirement, and survivors’ benefits will, therefore, see an increase in their checks by 1.7 percent. As it relates to SSI benefits, the monthly maximum Federal amount for 2013 is $710 for an eligible individual.

    Philadelphia Social Security Attorneys at Galfand Berger are Dedicated to Helping Individuals Get the Benefits they Deserve

    If you or someone you love is entitled to receive Social Security Benefits or you or family member need guidance to navigate the Social Security Benefits process, the experienced Social Security attorneys at Galfand Berger can assist you. We have offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Call our office today at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)