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How the coronavirus could impact Social Security benefits

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2020 | SSDI

The current coronavirus crisis is negatively impacting life in a variety of ways. Social Security Disability Insurance recipients might be watching the news closely to find out how it will affect them. One way that many might not realize is that it may increase the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2021.

The COLA is the amount of increase people will see in their benefits for the year. In the past 11 years, the increase has been a tiny 1.4% average per year. While technically designed to keep pace with inflation, the reality for most recipients is that the increases are very small and make little difference to their daily lives. 

The coronavirus is likely going to affect the markers that are used to determine the COLA in the future. Everything is pure speculation at this point because there isn’t any guarantee about what’s going to happen. As COVID-19 spreads, the costs of some of the common products like household goods and food may increase. This will boost the rate of inflation. Coupled with some other key factors, it is possible that future COLAs will be much larger than in previous years. 

Anyone who is counting on Social Security Disability Income to make ends meet should apply for benefits as soon as possible because it can take months or years to gain approval. Filing your application as soon as possible protects your right to past-due benefits when your claim is approved. If you’re struggling to get your claim approved, speaking with an experienced advocate may be able to help.