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Social Security disability and the 2016 COLA

Many Florida residents rely on Social Security disability benefits. Benefits are provided to workers who are disabled, retirees, spouses, offspring and disabled veterans. For those who are receiving benefits, there is an expectation that there will be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on an annual basis. The economy and inflation determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) will have to pay more to recipients. In some years, there will be an increase, but in others, there will not. Those who are seeking benefits or are already receiving benefits need to be aware of these issues that are under current discussion.

Benefits for millions of people across the country will remain stagnant in 2016 as the SSA information was revealed that there will not be a COLA. Over the past four decades, this has only happened twice. Each non-increase year has been before 2010. The main reason presented for this is the reduction in the price of gas.

Approximately 4 million will not receive the increase they likely expected. In addition, those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not receive an increase. SSI is a disability program for those who are poor. Medicare Part B is a part of the benefits for those who receive Social Security and Social Security disability. With a rise in premiums, a COLA generally covers that. If there is no COLA, around one-third will have to pay for the increase.

Those who are seeking disability benefits or are already receiving them need to have a grasp on SSA news to understand how what they receive is affected. Many rely on their benefits to make ends meet and to pay their medical costs. Those who have concerns about getting benefits or need assistance in dealing with issues, such as COLA or anything else that arises, should speak to a legal professional with experience in Social Security disability issues.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "No COLAs for Social Security in 2016," Stephen Ohlemacher, Oct. 15, 2015

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