As many Americans know, the cost of living in the United States has been increasing. Many people are finding it difficult to make ends meet as salaries fail to keep up. Pennsylvania residents with disabilities can be even more aware of these financial concerns. Many of them are unable to work at all, making financial challenges likely.
In some cases, people can turn to Social Security disability benefits to help meet their day to day needs. If people meet the requirements of the program, they can receive monthly benefits to help them cover the cost of food, medical care, housing, clothing and other essentials. These benefits are extremely important to the millions of people receiving them each year.
Recently, the Social Security Administration announced that starting in January 2015, people receiving these disability benefits will get a cost of living adjustment. In this case, the adjustment will increase people’s benefits by 1.7 percent. This COLA averages out to an increase of about $22 a month. The average person receiving disability benefits will therefore receive around $1,328 a month.
The COLA will match the increase in the cost of medical services and consumer goods in the United States. However, the cost of drugs and medications in the United States has increased by 2.9 percent over the last year. Therefore, the COLA will not meet this rising cost. Still, for many receiving Social Security disability benefits the COLA may be welcomed news.
If people are unable to work to earn a living because of a disability, they should make sure to understand their legal rights. While the application process can be difficult for some, the benefits — including COLAs — can be crucial for Pennsylvania residents.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Federal-Benefit Changes for 2015,” Jennifer Waters, Nov. 1, 2014