Social Security, Veterans Disability Recipients to Receive 1.7 Percent Increase with COLA in 2015

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Allsup outlines budget considerations for people getting SSDI benefits and VA disability compensation

Tricia Blazier, Allsup

Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager, Allsup

Allsup outlines considerations for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients and veterans disability beneficiaries who are getting a 1.7 percent increase with their monthly benefit in 2015.

Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and veterans disability benefits will see an increase of 1.7 percent in their monthly benefit in 2015, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services. The increase is a result of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which is an automatic calculation applied to Social Security benefits.

“People with disabilities will be getting higher benefits next year with the COLA, but it’s only a slight increase that should be managed carefully,” said Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager at Allsup and product manager for the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a Medicare plan selection service.

“For example, the USDA has reported that food inflation will continue in 2015—which means higher prices for things like eggs, dairy, meat and produce,” Blazier explained. “People with disabilities also can anticipate their healthcare expenses may increase next year, based on industry reports.

“It’s important that people with disabilities go back to their budget and factor in other rising costs for necessities next year,” Blazier said. “It’s great to have a little bit of added income—but there’s a practical reality to the COLA. You’re getting this increase because the costs of living continue to go up each year.”

The average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,165 from $1,146, an increase of $19 per month (or $228 per year), according to the Social Security Administration. The COLA is calculated using third-quarter results from data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Typically, a comparison of the current year to the previous year determines if there is an increase.

The increase takes effect for Social Security retirement and SSDI recipients in January 2015. The COLA also is applied to veterans disability compensation and pension benefits, managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Increases have taken place every year since 1975, except for 1983, 2010 and 2011. There was an administrative change in 1983, and consumer prices did not experience typical increases in 2010-11.

SSDI is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program. A portion of FICA taxes that workers pay is set aside for SSDI, as well as Social Security retirement and Medicare. SSDI benefits provide monthly income and access to Medicare after a 24-month waiting period.

“If you are receiving Medicare and are worried about your healthcare costs next year, then you can use Medicare annual enrollment to take a closer look at your options, too,” Blazier added.

Help With SSDI Benefits, Veterans Disability, Medicare Plans

Medicare recipients have from now until Dec. 7 to make Medicare plan changes for their 2015 healthcare coverage. To speak to an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist, call (866) 521-7655 or visit Medicare.Allsup.com.

Veterans who are planning a VA disability appeal can receive assistance by calling (888) 372-1190.

Click here for more information about appealing or applying for Social Security disability benefits. Or, contact an Allsup professional for a free SSDI evaluation at (800) 678-3276.

ABOUT ALLSUP
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal and Medicare services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. For more information, go to Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

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