Social Security’s meager cost-of-living adjustment upsets many
For those living with a disability, life can be difficult enough. Living on a fixed income, and relying on Social Security Disability income to make ends meet can be even harder.
For this reason, many are speaking out against the annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, claiming it will not be enough to match inflation and the financial realities of today’s society. While the exact percentage is yet to be released by the Department of Labor, the amount is expected to be around 1.5 percent, according to the Huffington Post.
The purpose of the annual cost-of-living adjustment, which began in 1975, is to ensure that the value of Social Security benefits does not decrease as the cost of living increases. Still, nearly all recipients would agree that the adjustments are hardly enough to match the difficulties experienced in today’s tough economic times. Nearly 57 million people receive Social Security benefits, and will be affected by the increase, however modest it may be. The recipients include senior citizens, disabled workers, parentless children, and those receiving Supplemental Security Income, which includes the very poorest of the elderly and disabled.
In the wake of widespread budget cuts, politicians across the nation are supporting efforts like reduced cost-of-living adjustments. According to the Huffington Post, disabled beneficiaries of Social Security Income tend to use the income as the main source of financial provision for their family. Still, some politicians believe that cuts in the Social Security program are appropriate, and that benefits for seniors and the disabled are too high. In reality, the annual payout is under $15,000 per year, on average. Proposed budget cuts made from the cost-of-living adjustment and similar changes to the Social Security Program are anticipated to result in $127 billion dollars taken “out of the pockets” of recipients over the next decade. Not surprisingly, Social Security Disability recipients are among those who feel that, when it comes to income, “every little bit counts,” as the disabled often have higher medical bills than others.
Arizona’s own Representative Raul Grijalva is among those fighting against such cuts, advocating for a fair increase in the annual cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security recipients. Representative Grijalva’s desire to support the Social Security system reflects the needs of the nearly 155,000 Arizonians who received Social Security Disability benefits in 2012, according to a report by SocialSecurityWorks.org.
For those who receive Social Security Disability benefits, any interruption, denial, reduction, or cancellation of the income could provide serious financial hardship. If you have been denied Social Security benefits, or if you are considering applying for them, the assistance of an experienced attorney can help provide the best possible outcome for your case.