SSA announces 2015 COLA increase for benefits recipients

News announced earlier this week in Washington, D.C. by the Social Security Administration regarding scores of millions of benefits recipients was not exactly prefaced by a drum roll or loud clash of cymbals.

In fact, there was no drama or hyperbole at all preceding a benefits-related statement issued by the SSA. Rather, the news item delivered was issued in straightforward and understated terms.

The reason why: A 1.7 percent increase in recipients' monthly disability checks doesn't exactly amount to earth-shaking news.

That benefit increase applies to retirees, Social Security Disability recipients and persons covered under the Supplemental Security Income program.

Agency officials note that the pay increase will be about $20 a month for a "typical" recipient.

Yes, that pays for a partial tank of gas (once), perhaps half a bag of groceries, a movie and some popcorn or a pair of pants (discounted).

Still, as the adage goes, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. Every dollar helps.

Reportedly, the annual cost of living allowance (COLA) is now less than two percent for benefits recipients for the third consecutive year.

A valid reason for such slight upward adjustments is of course available, with the explanation going like this: COLA computations are tied centrally to the inflation rate and the so-called Consumer Price Index. That index increased by only 0.1 percent last month. Moreover, inflation continues to be a near non-factor in the American economy. Thus, a strong upward push for wage increases is lacking.

Disability recipients are slated to begin receiving the COLA increase from next January. SSI beneficiaries will note the increase from this December.

Source: CNBC, "Social Security benefits will increase by 1.7%," Terri Cullen, Oct. 22, 2014