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I Get Social Security Disability Benefits, How Will My Benefits Be Impacted By a Cost of Living (COLA) Adjustment?

For those who depend on social security a disability benefit to make ends meet, cost of living increases are a big deal. The calculation for an individual is pretty basic. When the cost of goods increases, they naturally need more money to pay for them.

Social Security Disability benefits are subject to an annual review to determine whether a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is merited. The Social Security Administration uses the Consumer Price Index to determine if the overall cost of living has risen. If it has, a proportionate Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is added to Social Security Disability benefit payments for the year.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is based on information gleaned in government surveys regarding the overall expenses of those living in urban areas of the nation. The CPI is designed to be a snapshot of how the overall cost of living has changed across the United States. The CPI affects Social Security Disability recipients because it is used to determine whether a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will be added to benefit amounts. Depending on where you live, the CPI may or may not accurately reflect the actual expense changes in your area.

The Social Security Administration uses data from the year to determine what the amount for the next year will be. Much of the estimates that come out throughout the year are based on the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Currently, the 2020 SSDI cost of living increase is estimated to be 1.7 percent. This is down from 2.8 percent in 2019 – the highest amount since 2012. The current projection of 1.7 percent is actually up significantly from the 0 that was previously being calculated earlier in the year.

Rising gas and housing costs have driven the number up from 0 to 1.7 so far this year. And while the increases are important, the buying power of social security has actually decreased through the years – as much as 33% since the year 2000. As an aside, the political climate could affect what the amount ends up being. If Chinese tariffs go into effect, it could increase the cost of goods you buy, which would cause a higher cost of living.

How a Social Security Attorney Can Help

Whether you’re preparing your first SSDI application, submitting your claim for Reconsideration or appealing a rejected claim, you have a greater chance of success with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.

Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC understand the complex SSDI application process and the information necessary to receive approval while maximizing the financial support you need for your condition. We also have a thorough knowledge of the appeals process and can help you assemble the additional information necessary to bolster your claim if you’ve been denied.

If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance filing your SSDI application or making an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation.

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