Controversy Arising Around How Annual COLAs Are Determined

by Staff | November 4th, 2013

November 4, 2013

The federal government recently announced recipients of Social Security benefits would be receiving one of the smallest cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in the history of the program. The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin say the announcement as has sparked controversy regarding how the COLA figure is reached.

An article from The Huffington Post explains COLA’s are a raise in benefits that is determined each year for Social Security beneficiaries by examining rates of inflation on certain products and services United States citizens depend on. Currently, the government determines rates of inflation through a Consumer Product Index (CPI) report; however, many feel the report skews numbers in a manner that prevents Social Security recipients from getting the raise they deserve.

Some experts point out that another form of the CPI, the CPI-E, examines rates of inflation focused on the elderly and shows rates of inflation significantly higher than those recorded by the current CPI. The difference is due to the typically higher medical costs the elderly face and could be losing thousands of dollars per year.

Despite these numbers, the President is pushing for a form of the CPI, known as a chained CPI, which would decrease Social Security COLAs even more.

The law firm’s team of attorneys recognizes how difficult getting a fair amount of benefits from the Social Security Administration can be.  That’s why the firm suggests speaking with an attorney if you are considering applying for such benefits.

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