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Small increase for Social Security benefits in 2015

For those receiving Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) is an important announcement. Many people receiving these benefits count on them because they are their only source of income. So if they are going to continue to make ends meet, and they are unable to find or maintain a job, their benefits have to increase by some degree.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced what the COLA will be for 2015. Unfortunately, the increase was not groundbreaking. In fact, the 1.7 percent increase will be the third (increase) in a row that is under 2 percent. 

Cost of living increases have been required under federal law since the mid 1970's. They are calculated by monitoring changes in the Consumer Price Index, which measures changes in items and services that people regularly use, including (but not limited to) food, housing, clothing and energy costs.  Increases are also implemented to stave off the effects of inflation, which could severely limit the buying power for the poor.

The latest adjustment will amount to about $20 more per month for recipients. Indeed, this amount may seem paltry considering that the average benefit amount will be $1,192 per month, but for people on fixed incomes, any increase will be welcome. In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the recent drop in gasoline prices will translate into other areas, such as food prices and heating costs.

The increases are set to take effect in January.  

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La Crosse, WI 54601

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