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A Social Security cost-of-living increase may not happen in 2020

While Social Security recipients may have received a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2019, early data that has been released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) already has forecasters predicting that there won't be any increase in 2020.

The policy analysts at The Senior Citizens League have historically been spot on in predicting whether there will be a COLA instituted by the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year.

While this increase was the highest one since 2012, there have been many years in which there hasn't been one at all, as was the case in 2010, 2011 and 2016.

In case you're wondering what data the SSA uses to determine whether to institute a COLA, they rely on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Data for the final three months in 2018 shows that the index dropped 1.8 percent below what it was during that same time period in 2017. Using that same information, analysts with The Senior Citizen League have determined that if any increase were to happen, it wouldn't be any more than .1 percent.

Up until the final numbers were released in December, forecasters noted that the prospective 2020 cost-of-living increase was expected to be as high as 2.5 percent. Researchers note that the living increase is affected by inflation and other factors though.

They point out that what happens during the next nine months can have a significant impact on the COLA calculation. The SSA takes BLS data compiled during the third quarter, which includes July, August and September, and compares it to the numbers from the previous year to determine if a COLA is needed.

If there happens not to be any COLA in 2020, then researchers say that it's likely to do with slow growth in energy and food prices.

St. Louis workers who suffer from serious impairments who are unable to work depend on the disability benefits that they receive from the SSA to pay for their basic expenses such as food and utilities. If you're struggling with a debilitating injury that is either terminal or expected to last longer than 12 months, then an attorney can guide you in successfully applying for disability benefits.

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