Those Missourians who find themselves unable to work on account of a disability, whether due to an injury or an illness, may struggle to make ends meet. Fortunately, the Social Security disability system exists to help them. Yet, unlike their working counterparts who may see pay raises each year to aid them in coving cost of living increases, that is not necessarily the case for Social Security recipients.
In fact, the federal government recently announced that all Social Security recipients, including those on disability, will not see a cost of living adjustment in 2016. The reason for the stall in benefits is the government's calculations did not show a rise in inflation that justified an increase in payouts. The government points to the decrease in the price of gas as the reason for the lack of inflation. However, the goods and services used by the elderly and disabled have typically become more expensive, meaning they may be short-changed by the lack of cost of living adjustment.
Though this may be bad news for Social Security recipients, the fact of the matter is that those who receive benefits still receive an average of more than $1,200 a month in benefits. To someone who is rendered unable to work due to disability, this can be quite significant, allowing him or her to cover medical expenses, long-term care costs, and lost wages.
Therefore, despite the bad news regarding no cost of living increases, those who could use disability benefits should definitely learn more to see if they qualify. An experienced St. Louis attorney may be able to help an individual learn more about the process and assess whether or not he or she meets the federal requirements necessary to recover benefits.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, "No cost of living hike for Social Security recipients next year, government says," James F. Peltz and Samantha Masunaga, Oct. 15, 2015