Social Security Benefits to increase by 1.7%

Older and disabled Americans will see a 1.7% cost of living adjustment for their benefits for the year 2015.   The 1.7% increase marks the third consecutive year that the COLA for social security beneficiaries is held under 2%.

The government announced the benefit increase today.  The increase is based on the latest measure of consumer prices.  The Social Security Act provides for increases and those increases should be based on on inflation, mainly the Consumer Price Index.

Social Security retirement benefits are financed through a 12.4% payroll tax on the first $117,000 of a worker’s wages, in which half the tax is paid by the employee and half by the employer.  Social Security Disability benefits are funded through a payroll tax of 7.65% of earnings (subject to a maximum) that applies to both employees and employers (15.3 percent total).  These payroll taxes fund all Social Security programs and most of Medicare.  SSD benefits are payable and calculated on the basis of the worker’s earnings from Social Security–covered employment, and a Claimant must still have insured status.  Disability benefits are based on a measure of lifetime predisability earnings.  If an individual is awarded Social Security Disability, there is a a 5-month waiting period before benefits can start, and Medicare coverage for the Claimant is not available until the Claimant is entitled to disability benefits for 24 months.

So what is the average increase based on 1.7% COLA increase that recipients will see?  Well, it varies from person to person, depending on your benefits amount, but on average, the 1/7% increase will reflect approximately $20 increase per month.

If you or a family member or friend have recently applied for Social Security Disability and have been denied, call Mooney & Associates for a FREE case evaluation at 1-877-632-4656.  Remember, Social Security Disability is time sensitive.  If you received your denial letter more than 60 days ago, and failed to file an Appeal, then you must start the application process all over again.  Call us before the 60 day window expires.  We wills it down and talk over your case with you.  We provide an honest evaluation of whether we believe we can win you disability benefits.  No sugar coating from us!

Mooney & Associates has full-time staffed offices in Chambersburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg, and Hanover in Central Pennsylvania.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.