Cost of Living Increase May Not Benefit SSDI Recipients

According to Associated Press, current recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance should brace for another year with no increase in Social Security payments. SSA data shows that about 45 million people, one in seven in the country, receive both Medicare and Social Security. Recipients have their Medicare Part B premiums deducted from their disability payments each month.

The government is projecting a small cost-of-living increase for Social Security beneficiaries, the first increase since 2009. However, most beneficiaries will see a rise in Medicare premiums which will leave them without a raise in their monthly disability payments.

When Medicare premiums rise more than Social Security payments, millions of disability recipients see no raise. This is exceptionally difficult for those living on a fixed income who must face raise in grocery prices, utilities and gas. The AARP estimates that as many as three-fourths of beneficiaries will have their entire increase disappear by rising Medicare premiums.

Social Security Disability Insurance recipients spend an average of 9 percent of their benefits on their premiums, plus 3 percent on premiums for the prescription drug program. By law, Social Security’s cost-of-living increases are determined each year by a government measure of inflation. There has been an increase every year from 1975 through 2009, since then the recession has depressed consumer prices resulting in no increases in 2010 or 2011. The government is projecting an increase of 1.2 percent, which means an individual receiving a monthly payment of $1,077 would have an disability payment increase of $10 to $13.

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