Social Security, Veterans Disability Recipients to See 1.5 Percent COLA Increase in Benefits for 2014
Allsup explains modest cost-of-living adjustment; Medicare Part B premium remains the same
Belleville, Ill.-Oct. 30, 2013-Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients and veterans disability beneficiaries will see a slight increase of 1.5 percent in their monthly benefit in 2014. The standard Medicare Part B premium will stay the same, allowing many beneficiaries to realize the full cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services.
"In years past, the positive impact of COLA was less because many beneficiaries also saw an increase in their Medicare Part B premiums, but that won't be as much of an issue in 2014," explained Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager at Allsup.
"COLA is designed to help maintain the value of Social Security and veterans benefits despite inflation, which affects the costs of living," Blazier said. "This very limited COLA increase indicates the low inflation rate in the economy, but it could be disappointing for those who have high healthcare expenses and primarily rely on Social Security for income."
The average SSDI benefit will increase to $1,148 from $1,131, an increase of $17 per month, or $204 per year. Third-quarter results reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) are used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to set the COLA. The increase takes effect for Social Security retirement and SSDI recipients in January 2014.
Automatic COLA increases have been applied to Social Security benefits every year since 1975, except for 1983, 2010 and 2011. In 1983 there was an administrative change, and in 2010-11, consumer prices did not experience typical increases. COLA increases are applied to veterans disability compensation and pension benefits, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA payroll taxes to be eligible.
Medicare Premiums in 2014
The standard Medicare Part B premium will be $104.90 in 2014, which is the same as 2013. The Part B deductible also remains unchanged at $147 per year. Note: Individuals with annual income higher than $85,000, filing individually, and $170,000, filing jointly, may pay more for Medicare Part B.
The Medicare program is important to SSDI beneficiaries who begin receiving Medicare 24 months after entitlement to cash SSDI benefits.
"Now that Medicare has announced premium information for 2014, participants can have more certainty about their costs next year," said Paula Muschler, operations manager for the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a nationwide Medicare plan selection service. "This is critical information for seniors and people with disabilities who are making decisions about their coverage for next year during Medicare annual open enrollment, which runs now through Dec. 7."
Find Help with SSDI, Veterans and Medicare Questions
Allsup provides resources and assistance with Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, veterans disability appeals, and Medicare plan selection.
Veterans who are planning a VA disability appeal can receive assistance by calling (888) 372-1190.
Anyone seeking assistance during Medicare annual open enrollment or who is turning 65 may reach an Allsup Medicare specialist by calling (866) 521-7655.
For more information about SSDI, contact Allsup at (800) 279-4357 to receive a free disability evaluation.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.