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What Retirees Should Know About Upcoming COLA Boost

West Virginia social security attorneyThe social security system is not only complex, but highly unstable. It is crucial for retirees to understand the upcoming changes and how they will be affected.

A boost in benefits could mean higher medical costs

In response to rising inflation, Social Security recipients across the United States will receive a boost of 2.8 percent in benefits, which marks a large increase for retirees.

However, this boost in Social Security benefits will come with a price. In 2019, retirees will see the highest cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) since 2012. COLA, which regulates the cost of living for disabled veterans and federal retirees, will pay an average of $1,461 per month in 2019 – an increase of $39. Additionally, married couples receiving Social Security benefits will be paid an average of $2,448 per month.

Many retirees don’t see the benefit of this increase. As healthcare costs go up, the COLA boost of only $39 will barely foot the bill in case of an injury or illness.

Some retirees have already seen the cost of Medigap insurance, as well as prescription drugs, increase at an alarming rate. Some retirees spend as much as a third of their income is spent on healthcare.

The problem with COLA is it encompasses an index of consumer prices as opposed to the living costs and needs of retirees.

What you should know

In 2018, the retirement age to receive full benefits increased to 66. If you’re 62 years old and receiving benefits, your payments will be 25 percent smaller. If you reach a point when you’re no longer able to work, you may, however, be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): If you are under the age of 65 and have earned a sufficient amount of work credits, you may receive benefits for a disability.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): If you are age 65 or older, blind, or suffer from a condition that qualifies as a disability, you may be eligible for benefits.

As a retiree, it’s important that you understand your rights when receiving social security benefits. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney in greater Charleston, West Virginia can help guide you through the process. We want to make sure you are being treated fairly.

Contact Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC today to discuss your options.

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