Social Security recently announced a cost of living adjustment (COLA), the first since 2009. The 3.6% adjustment is important to more than seniors looking forward to the monthly benefit check because it drives a number of other important benefit levels as well.
In addition to Social Security retirement benefits, the adjustment applies to Social Security Disability Income and directly or indirectly impacts Supplemental Security Income (SSI – the low income supplement for the elderly and poor that is an automatic gateway to Medicaid), veterans’ benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.
The VA’s special monthly pension (housebound, aid and attendance) revisions took effect December 1, 2011. You may view the new Aid and Attendance as well as the Housebound benefits on this website.
As mentioned, above, the FBR (the maximum SSI payment) has been revised, as well as the Federal Poverty Level figures. Those, too, have been posted and will remain available all year for reference.
Medicare premiums, co-payments and deductibles have been adjusted, and those, too, are conveniently posted. Those numbers do not tie into Social Security. One surprise (take a deep breath): Part B premiums actually went down, from $115.40 to $99.90.
Finally, various Medicaid nursing home factors have been adjusted, and are posted as well.