Due to the federal government shutdown, the Social Security Administration has yet to release the official Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2014. The COLA associated with Social Security disability benefits, usually released in mid-October, will become effective on December 1 and will be reflected in January 2014 benefit checks. The yearly COLA is determined based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W, a measure of consumer prices generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-W measures changes in price for food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation, and education from one year to the next. The COLA is calculated by comparing consumer prices in July, August, and September of the current year to prices in the same three month period for the previous year. This year, prices in July and August increased 1.4 percent on average compared to last year.
In considering S. 893 Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimated a COLA increase of 1.5%. Similarly, organizations such as the American Institute for Economic Research, AARP, and The Senior Citizens League estimate an increase of between 1.5 and 1.7 percent for 2014 based on the increases in consumer prices.
To learn more about the Cost of Living Adjustment and your possible eligibility for Social Security benefits, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. . Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.