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Older Americans See Small Increase in Social Security Benefits for the First Time in Two Years

shutterstock_569301826Social Security Benefits Increase, But Little Effect on Cost of Living

As of January 2013, Social Security benefits will increase for the first time since 2009. However, the increase is only 3.6%.

The increase is called Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA for short. It is based on a calculation from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics called the CPI-W, which stands for the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, and includes inflation in the cost of food, transportation, clothing, recreation, and medical care, among other standards.

The CPI-W has been the standard measurement for increases in social security benefits since 1975, which took the responsibility for benefits increases away from Congress. However, because the measurement is based on inflation, social security benefits did not increase in 2010 and 2011, because inflation stayed relatively flat.

Increased payments begin on December 31, 2012, for more than 8 million social security beneficiaries. The total increase will be between $12 and $24, however, which is not a significant increase for most beneficiaries, who have been making do with $1,300 or $1,400 a month. Additionally, part of the raise will be offset because of higher Medicare premiums, which are projected to rise about $7 per month.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to social security tax is going up, as well. Currently, $110,100 is the maximum earnings taxed by social security; this will increase to $113,700. That means 10 million people will pay higher social security tax. However, the increase in tax will barely, if at all, help with social security benefits, as the number of retirees increases and more people apply for social security.

Applying for Social Security Benefits Can Be Difficult, But We Can Help

The social security benefits increase may not help most seniors
The social security benefits increase may not help most seniors

If you are facing Problems with your Social Security, we understand that you need help now.  Not only can Social Security be confusing, but not getting the Social Security Benefits to which you are entitled can have a detrimental impact on your life.  No two Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claims are the same, but the application and decision process remain the same.  That is why if you are facing problems with Social Security, you should contact the experienced attorneys at the Strom Law Firm.  Our attorneys have been dealing with these kinds of claims for years, and although your claim is sure to differ slightly from all others, we understand the underlying process, allowing us to effectively assist you in handling your claim.

Social Security Benefits Problems our Attorneys can Explain:

  • Social SecurityDisability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Social SecurityHearings
  • Social Security Appeal
  • Social SecurityUnemployment Appeal
  •  Social SecurityDisability Appeal Time
  • Denied Application
  • Anything concerning SSI or SSD

Applying for Social Security Benefits can be complex.  Even understanding the basics can seem overwhelming. We understand that you need your benefits.  We will put our years of experience to work for you to ensure that you have the representation necessary to actively pursue your claim.  Call the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today to discuss your Social Security Benefits, Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income Benefits case today.  We will be glad to discuss any questions you may have during our free, confidential consultation.  Call the experienced attorneys at the Strom Law Firm at (803)252-4800.



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