By now Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and Social Security Retirement recipients have received their January 2011 checks and many are unpleasantly surprised. More than 55 million people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not see an increase in 2011.
The Social Security Act provides for an adjustment in Social Security Disability, Retirement and Supplemental Security Income benefits if there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2008, the last year a COLA was determined, when compared to the third quarter of 2010. As a result, there is no COLA in 2011.
COLA also determines the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax as well as the retirement earnings exempt amounts. These amounts will not change in 2011.