The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2024 is set to be at 3.2%, which is down significantly from the record high of 8.7% for 2023. This dramatic decline is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as it is primarily the result of lessening inflation driving up prices. As a result, Social Security disability recipients will see a modest increase in their payments next year.
Explaining the COLA
The Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA, is an automatic change in the amount of money paid out through Social Security benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Every year, the COLA is calculated based on changes in the prices of certain essential goods and services. As a result, every year tends to see a small but significant increase in benefits.
COLA Set at 3.2% For 2024
The COLA for 2024 has been announced to be 3.2%, down dramatically from the high of 8.7% in 2023. This drop in the COLA year over year was expected, as the increase from 2023 was unusually high and driven by high inflation. As various institutions have worked to drive down the rate of inflation, the COLA has followed suit.
COLA Driven By Changes in Consumer Pricing
The primary driver for this decline in the COLA is shifts in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). This index measures the cost of a basket of goods and services that are heavily tied to consumer pricing, including the cost of rent, food prices, and other drivers of the cost of living. Because these prices have generally remained more stable this year than they were in the past, the COLA has also remained relatively small.
How it Could Impact You
If you are a recipient of SSDI or SSI benefits, you are going to see a small but significant increase in your benefits, with the average monthly disability benefit increasing from $1,489 to $1,537. This is meant to help keep pace with inflation and other drivers of the cost of living. It also means you do not need to word about costs outpacing your benefits, thanks to the COLA increase.
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.