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Benefits increase for Social Security disability recipients - good news for boomers this year, but what happens in 2010?

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The largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 25 years for Social Security recipients this year means boomers with disabilities are also reaping the benefits. However, projections from the Congressional Budget Office indicate beneficiaries might see an adjustment of zero percent in 2010.

If so, those with Social Security Disability Insurance are facing even more of a financial battle if 2009 proves to be as brutal as 2008, according to Allsup, a provider of financial and health care related services to people with disabilities, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year.

“The largest COLA increase … is good news for Social Security recipients,” said Jim Allsup, CEO and founder in a statement. “It reflects a higher cost of living that hit hard for many people and their families in 2008.”

According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security checks will see a 5.8 percent COLA increase beginning this month. The estimated average benefit for all disabled workers is $1,064 in 2009, which compares with the average benefit of $1,004 in 2008. With the COLA increase, the estimated average benefit for a disabled worker, with spouse and one or more children is $1,793.

“The increase for 2009 reflects the value of seeking SSDI for people who cannot work any longer because of a long-term disability,” Mr. Allsup added. “But there are additional reasons to consider applying for disability benefits.”

Social Security Disability Insurance is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible.


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