social security chained CPI

Senate Blocks Changes To The Way Disability COLAs Are Figured

by Staff | April 15th, 2013

April 15, 2013

The United States Senate recently voted against a proposed bill that would have significantly changed the way increases in payments to those receiving Social Security Disability Benefits would be figured.

Current law allows for disability payments to be reevaluated and adjusted each year to compensate for increased costs for everyday living expenses such as food, utilities, transportation, housing, etc. These costs are based on a consumer price index that averages similar expenses occurred across the country.

President Obama proposed that Cost-Of-Living-Adjustments (COLAs) now be figured using a “chained” consumer price index that assumes if the prices for a certain commodity rise, Americans will seek alternative products.

An Article from VT Digger stated using the new “Chained” consumer price index would significantly cut benefits increases to the roughly 58 million current disability recipients. Social Security recipients who are 65-years-old or over could see a loss of as much a $650 annually over the next decade and more than $1,000 annually by the time they are 85-years-old.

Senators blocked the bill last month, claiming taking from those who are most in need of assistance is not the way to solve the nation’s budgetary issues.

The law firm of Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin and their team of Social Security Disability Attorneys have an understanding of the complexities that can be associated with receiving government assistance. The firm encourages anyone who is considering filing a claim for benefits to discuss their legal options with an attorney.

Social Security Advocates Fight Against COLA Cut Proposals

by Staff | July 1st, 2011

Plenty of Social Security advocates are up in arms over news that the Obama administration is considering switching to a “chained” Consumer Price Index when making cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries, according to HuffingtonPost.com.

The consideration comes as lawmakers debate about which budget cuts to make to keep the United States from exceeding the federal debt limit, which is set to occur the first week of August.

As it stands, the Social Security Administration typically makes near-annual COLA adjustments.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that the chained CPI formula would estimate a lower cost-of-living for Social Security beneficiaries because it takes recessions into account, figuring that Americans buy less during tough economic periods.

In a recent news release, Joan Entmacher, director of family economic security at the National Women’s Law Center, said, “The proposal to shift to the chained-CPI is actually a stealth attack on Social Security.”

Likewise, a report from the Economic Policy Institute asserts that the chained CPI formula would be inappropriate for calculating Social Security COLAs because the 65-and-older population typically spend three times as much on healthcare than the general population.

Read more.

Do you think the chained-CPI would be a fair way to look at cost-of-living for Social Security beneficiaries? Do you think Social Security should be taken out of the debt ceiling reduction discussion?

If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.