Thursday, October 17, 2013

End of Government Shutdown Means a Start of the Annual Social Security Increase Talk

Just early this week, social security recipients were already fretting about whether the government shutdown could delay their annual social security benefit increase for next year.

Now that the government shutdown is over, social security recipients can now expect the federal government to start talking about the annual social security increase.

Unfortunately, recent news reports have it that the recipients’ much-awaited social security cost-of-living allowance (COLA) increase for 2014 is expected to be small. In fact, it could be one of the lowest in the past decades.

According to expert analysts, the preliminary figures suggest a benefit increase of approximately 1.5 percent. Incidentally, the said raise will be among the smallest since automatic annual increases were adopted in 1975.

It could be remembered that COLA was adopted decades ago for the purpose of keeping up the recipients’ income with the rising consumer prices.

Probably, this is because as you will notice, consumer prices as monitored by the federal government, haven’t gone up much this year and the previous year, speculated by a Los Angeles disability lawyer.

Subsequently, following the rumors on next year’s increase would only be a little bump in the recipients’ check, many of them were sympathetic while others simply dismissed the recent news believing that the federal agency still imposes a good system.

So far, the exact size of the cost-of-living allowance is still unknown while the Labor Department is not yet releasing the inflation report for September, which is usually released at around the second week of October. However, the report was delayed due to the recent government shutdown that lasted for a couple of weeks.

Also, as it is, COLA is being announced in October to give the federal benefit programs ample time to adjust payments for January. Therefore, there is no reason for the agency to delay the raise since it is still mid-October.

Based on statistics, roughly 58 million Americans rely on social security benefits. Generally, the average monthly payment is $1,162.00. Thus, a 1.5 percent increase would raise the usual payment by almost $17.00.