“Although this COLA is modest, the extra money can be applied to outstanding debts or savings,” said Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager at Allsup. “Even a slight increase can add up over time or make a previously unmanageable expense more manageable, such as a prescription medication.”
Based on the average monthly SSDI benefit of $1,111.68 in November 2012, the increase will amount to approximately $19 per month or $228 per year starting in January. The COLA is based primarily on the third-quarter increase, year to year, in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which is determined by the rate of inflation for the goods and services people buy.
“It’s important for individuals on limited incomes to make wise choices with increases such as the COLA,” Blazier said, adding that Allsup offers personal financial planning tools on its website at http://www.allsup.com/
SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible.
Allsup recommends individuals enhance the COLA through methods such as reviewing healthcare requirements and coverage to ensure you have the most appropriate coverage; reducing credit card debt; finding mortgage assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;
For information about eligibility for SSDI benefits, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for 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. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to https://www.allsup.com/