By the Old Sarge
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or veterans disability benefits, you’ll see an increase in your monthly check this year.
You’ll have to look closely, however, because the 2017 cost-of-living (COLA) increase is only 0.3 percent.
To determine the increase, the Social Security Administration (SSA) used third-quarter results reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The increase takes effect in January 2017 for SSDI recipients. Automatic COLA increases have been applied to Social Security benefits since 1975. In the most recent decade, however, there was no increase in 2010, 2011 or 2016.
The average SSDI benefit will increase to $1,171 from $1,167, an increase of just $48 per year. Unfortunately, because the Department of Agriculture has forecasted that supermarket costs will jump 1 to 2 percent this year, a COLA bump this small won’t compensate for increased costs for things like healthcare, housing or groceries
It won’t even cover higher Medicare Part B premiums for 2017.
The good news is that there are resources and programs that could help. Allsup recently hosted the live web event, True Help Claiming Power to Improve Your Finances. Patient advocates and resource experts from the National Stroke Association, the Colon Cancer Alliance, Caregiver Action Network and Allsup provided information on employment and disability, the SSDI program, and financial resources for people with disabilities and caregivers. It is now available to view on YouTube, and you can leave questions in the comment section.