In late October, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.7% monthly Cost of Living (COLA) increase for individuals receiving Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security (SSI) benefits. This marks the third consecutive year that disability benefit recipients will receive a minimal cost of living increase - following the 1.7% increase in 203 and the 1.5% increase in 2014. While the current increase is small and will do little to ease the burden on those receiving disability benefits, it is an improvement from 2009 and 2010 when there were no COLA increases.
The COLA was created by Congress in 1972 to provide automatic yearly cost of living increases for individuals receiving Social Security retirement and Social Security disability benefits. The goal of the yearly COLA was to ensure that individuals receiving disability benefits would be able to keep pace with the cost of purchasing goods and services.
If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the monthly individual benefit will increase from $721 to $733 and the amount for a couple will increase to $1,100.00.
With the continued increase in price for necessities such as utilities, groceries and healthcare, it is safe to assume that the already stretched budgets of individuals receiving Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be stretched even further in the new year.
While the increase is minimal, we understand how vital these benefits can be to individuals suffering from serious mental health and/or physical impairments. If you need assistance in applying for your benefits or filing an appeal of a denied application, please contact us for a free case evaluation and the assistance that you need.