On October 30, 2013, the Social Security Administration announced its annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for recipients of Social Security benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for individuals with disabilities.
According to the administration, benefits will be increased by 1.5% starting on December 31, 2013, for more than eight million SSI beneficiaries.
Currently, the largest benefit a single individual can receive from the federal support program is $710—set to increase to $721 with this year’s COLA. For couples on SSI, the ceiling will increase from $1,066 each month to $1,082.
Each year, Social Security is required by law to evaluate the current rate of inflation and adjust benefits accordingly. The annual COLA is intended to help beneficiaries account for growing expenses.
October’s federal shutdown delayed the announcement for several weeks.
2014 Compared to Previous Years
Since 2010 the COLA has varied dramatically from year to year. There were no automatic adjustments in 2010 and 2011 due to very low inflation rates; in contrast, 2012 saw a relatively large increase of 3.6%.
The 1.5% increase for 2014 is markedly closer to the adjustment for 2013, when monthly benefits were raised by 1.7%.
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