• Social Security Increase for 2014

  • by Kristen Curzytek

This year’s Social Security benefit will rise 1.5 percent next year, one of the smallest increases in the history of Social Security. The 1.5 percent increase will equate to additional $19 a month which would bring the average benefit to $1,294. This is according to the offices of Social Security.

This small increase in Social Security benefits is actual a plus for collectors of Social Security because in the last five years there were two years where there was no increase to Social Security benefits.

The small increase in Social Security can be contributed to consumer prices, as measured by the government, have not gone up in the past year. The measurement of the cost-of-living adjustment (known as COLA) usually releases inflation numbers in September but the report has been delayed because of the government shut down.

COLA compares consumer prices in July, August and September each year to prices from the same three month from the previous year to help determine what the increase should be if one is needed to cover the cost-of-living. Things that are measured are food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation and education.

The lack of increase can be contributed to gasoline prices which are down 2.4 percent from a year ago. However, food prices are up slightly along with housing costs which increased by 2.3 percent and utilities which increased by 3.2 percent.

Many advocates of seniors are saying the raise in Social Security does not accurately take in account the cost of healthcare. Medical costs went up less in the previous year but medical costs still out pace consumer prices. The rise in medical costs is at 2.5 percent.

To read more about the raise in Social Security benefits check out cnnmoney.com for the article, Social Security benefits up just 1.5% in 2014, by Chris Isidore.