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Social Security up 1.5 percent in 2014?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Monday, August 26, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

Plug this into your retirement planning budget for 2014: The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for 2014 will be 1.5 percent, slightly less than 2013's 1.7 percent. The official announcement will be made in the middle of October.

The COLA not only affects Social Security, it also sets the annual increases for federal retirees; Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI; military retirement, and veterans' pension benefits. Plus, eligibility for Medicare extra help, Medicaid and eligibility for federal and many state food and housing assistance programs also are tied to the annual COLA.

If you were receiving the average worker's Social Security retirement benefit of $1,224 in July, your increase, effective Jan. 1, would likely be $18.36 per month or about $220 a year. Don't spend it all in one place.

In his 2014 budget request, President Barack Obama proposed using a different COLA calculation, the chained CPI, as a way to help control the cost of Social Security. The House Republican Study Committee also has urged adoption of the chained CPI. With bipartisan support, there is a good possibility the chained CPI could become reality as early as 2015 -- it's too late for 2014.

If the chained CPI were to be implemented -- this is just a hypothetical -- the 2014 COLA increase would be about 0.25 percent lower, or 1.25 percent, in 2014. That would make next year's increase for the average Social Security recipient about $15 a month -- $3 lower than it will be with the current calculation. Over 10 years, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees estimates that the average Social Security recipient would lose a total of $240.

The good news is that the chained CPI would make a significant difference in the amount of money the federal government spends on Social Security. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that if the chained CPI were implemented in 2014, that it would save Social Security $127.2 billion from 2014 to 2023.

That's a step in the right direction.

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John Smith
September 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

It took me 4 months to get SSD and its been 3 years and I never been to their DR again and they just me imformed it will be 2-3 years before I see a SSD DR. I think for the people who wait 2-3 years and see SSD DR every year or two are sucking the system.

September 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Ithought obama was going to keep medicare down i justgot my ins. book for 2014 the ambulance went up from 150.00 to 300.00.All copayes went up meds.went up.You take 300.00 out of medicare pay your hosp.bills what do you do for meds. food lights gas water.WITHOUT.

Kristin Haskins
September 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Wow-that all sounds so unfair! I am so sorry for what you've gone through. I just barely started doing paperwork for disability benefits, but maybe now I'll just drop the whole thing. I'm on "regular" retirement benefits (less than $700/mo.) and barely making ends meet (w/mortgage, electric, gas, phone, water,and internet.And of course, the daily necessities such as simple household needs. A "no-frills" life. But I have to say, I feel lucky to have what I do have, after hearing some of the stories from others.I don't believe I will have a job again--this area isn't good, and there are way younger people who have more to offer, likely-the very least of which would be time, itself.
What a world...

September 25, 2013 at 1:57 am

In England, health care is free, the country encourages teenage pregnancy because of the benefits these girls receive without working a day in their lives, many people only work 16 hours a week because they can then claim 'benefits', everyone from the person sweeping supermarket floors on up receives an annual bonus from their employer, if you own a home and students live in it, you don't pay property taxes, and i could go on. With all of these social handouts, it is still the dream of many British to live in 'America'. I am on social security but I plan. The USA really is not so bad.

September 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I received a Social Security disability in 2005 for a job related accident that occurred in late 2002. From the time that you apply to the time that your approved takes two years almost to the day. Because of that delay it is a wise thing to have a private disability policy. I had one in place and it paid me $2,000 tax free a month for 24 months. With that I was able to more easily transition that dry period without a paycheck until Social Security kicked in with benefits backdated to the time of the accident less a six month waiting period. It would have been very tough going without that diability check each month. I encourage all of those people still actively working and not didabled to get a private disability policy. At a premium cost of about $50 a month it is dirt cheap coverage for what could be a very tough two years. I've been told that the chances of being disabled are ten times higher than dying prematurely. Most people carry life insurance, but fail to protect themselves from what is more likely.

September 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

im on s.s.d and i have been since i was 25 due to epilepsy since age 7 it will never go away and its not just to people faking it . you do have to go to their doctor and take their tests usually once a year they make you do a review to see if it has gotten better or worse and it took me 2 years to get on it . its not a simple thing to get on. a few of my friends i dont beleive they should be on it that is why their having such a hard time , their still on the waiting list 5 years later if you can prove medically what you have test wise and doctor wise from an early age or even when your older and they beleive that you will never outgrow it or it wont go away then you will qualify but not without taking their checkups once a year as i always do . just saying its not an easy thing to get

September 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

The comment about not being able to get a disability check until you have spent everything you have. It might work out that way with thr incredibly long process but a billionaire can get SSDI if he or she qualified.

Eve Bromich
September 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

First of all one must look at SS it was there and it was placed there by us older generation. It was used and put in the red by the government who should not have touched it in the first place. Disability is hard besides the testing and paperwork but hard adjusting your body to the life you are now given. You watch every penny you spend, your meds cost, etc. I agree with the older comment. Rent goes up, utilities go up, interest rates go up but we are pushed further and further into the hole. And I hate knowing by the end of the month no money, no food, no medicine. I guess this is our hell on earth!

cj herring
September 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I have to agree with both of you. Geri has a great point. There are so many young, 20something, able bodied who get on not because they have a physical disability but because they are depressed. They haven't paid a dime into it and yet they stay on it for years. This system was supposed to help the truly disabled who deserve to receive it. These depressed people don't seem to be too depressed not to have a bunch of children they can't take care of so then that's where welfare comes in. It's the government's fault. Create tons of jobs checking up on these folks who scam the system.

September 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Geri Kozelka wrote: August 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I think that SS disability is handed out too readily to drug addicts, obese people, and people with fake disabilities that are never checked once they start to receive it. I know of so many people that receive SS payments that should not even qualify but no one ever checks to see if these people really have a legitimate reason for not working. The government should hire more people to check into the recipients of SS payments and the ones that disperse it.

Geri, you aren't on SSDI or SSI are you? If you were you'd know it can take YEARS to be approved, you have to prove your disabilities and then people on disability have to have continuing disability reviews; could be every year or up to every seven years. It depends on the disability(ies) and I guess your age. Like if you're in your late 50s and disabled, there's not a big chance of recovering, more things can go wrong as you get older, not less things.

And you can't get disability for addiction or being an alcoholic anymore. Obese? maybe, but I think you'd have to be pretty much stuck in bed, like 500lbs or something.

"Fake" disabilities might happen, but I doubt it happens much. I've been through the whole apply, send a mountain of paperwork in, them asking for more and more doctor reports and test results, etc., then being denied - while I was in the hospital and having to appeal. And surviving by using up what was supposed to be my retirement savings (I'm on my own, no family), plus you can't really have much of anything or they won't give you any disability checks until you have spent down any money you might have. You lose just about everything.

So you, Geri, or anyone who thinks people just apply for disability and get it with no problem ... stop it and get educated, talk to people who really are disabled. We're not faking and almost no one gets disability easy, I know I didn't and I'm not. I'm barely making it month to month and I hate it. I'd rather be able to work and be making a real salary so I could afford to live, not just scratch by eating once a day by the end of the month and in constant vertigo and pain mentally and physically that keeps me homebound more than it doesn't.