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Social Security 2009 COLA Helps, But People with Disabilities Will Still Struggle, Says Allsup
Date:10/16/2008

Despite rise in Social Security benefits, those relying on fixed incomes are particularly challenged by rising expenses, including housing, healthcare and credit cards; Allsup outlines financial tips.

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) October 16, 2008 -- For the more than 8.5 million individuals relying on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or awaiting a decision on their application for benefits, the 5.8 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase in Social Security payments for 2009 will certainly ease concerns, according to Allsup, a leading provider of Social Security disability, financial and healthcare-related services to people with disabilities. While the COLA has not been this high in more than 25 years, Allsup believes beneficiaries will not be overly optimistic about the increase.

"The Social Security COLA is tied to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index, which takes into account the rate of inflation for the goods and services people buy. The 5.8 percent COLA increase simply reflects that the costs of these items have increased by that amount," said Paul Gada, Allsup's personal financial planning director.

Starting in 1975, automatic benefit increases, or COLAs, have been applied to Social Security benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the third quarter of the previous year is used to set the following year COLA. For the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2008, the CPI-W was 5.8 percent.

"The Social Security cost of living adjustment isn't about getting ahead. At best, it's abou
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