People who count on benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for survival, including people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), tend to pay close attention to how their benefits change from year to year. And yet, many SSDI and SSI recipients are unaware of the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), and how it affects their benefits. So, what is the COLA, and how does it impact you?
The Cost-of-Living Adjustment, on the surface, is pretty much what it sounds like: the cost of living is almost always going up, and it was determined that Social Security benefits would need to scale with these changes to ensure people could survive on their benefits. This is the result of factors like inflation, rising housing prices, and other issues that can make it more expensive to simply live. The COLA automatically adjusts the amount each person receives in benefits once per year to keep up with these changes in the cost of living.
However, recipients of Social Security benefits, including SSDI and SSI, may not have good news waiting for them. The COLA for 2020 was only 1.2%, and some predict that, due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, the COLA for 2021 will be zero, or close to zero. This will make it more difficult for people who rely on Social Security benefits to take care of their expenses, as inflation may begin to outpace the COLA as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. However, the exact figure will not be announced until October, so the impact this will have on beneficiaries will not be clear until then.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.