The Social Security Administration (SSA) made an announcement earlier this week that there will be a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other Social Security (SS) beneficiaries coming in 2021. Individuals who receive these government benefits can expect to see a 1.3% increase in their monthly stipend starting with their Dec. 2020 payment, which government officials pay in Jan. 2021.
This year’s COLA isn’t the highest it has been in recent years. The 2021 index is instead .3% lower than it was last year. The 2020 index was 1.6% higher than it was in 2019, though.
There’s never a guarantee that there will be an increase in the benefits SS recipients receive each year. It all depends on whether there’s inflation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) maintains a Consumer Price Index (CPI). There are laws on the books that require the federal agency to raise recipients’ monthly benefits in tandem with CPI increases.
Federal officials estimate that as many as 8 million SSI recipients may benefit from increased payments starting on Dec. 31, 2020. These beneficiaries will go from being able to receive a maximum of $783 in monthly benefits from the federal government to $794 once the COLA goes into effect in 2021. Couples who previously capped out at $1,191 per month will now qualify to receive $1,175 once the automatic adjustment happens.
SSI recipients who also receive additional funds from the state may qualify to receive higher monthly payments beyond the federal limits.
The SSA noted that SSI recipients could find out details about their COLA in their online account with the agency. They will receive letters in the mail, notifying them of their impending increase in benefits, though as well.
Many individuals who receive SSI and other SS benefits rely heavily on them to afford their necessary expenses. An SSI attorney in Oklahoma City can advise you what the qualifying criteria are to receive these benefits and help you recover them if they stop.