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COLA coming in a few days for SSD

As 2014 readies to draw to a close, a new year is about to burst onto the scene. The nearly 64 million Americans who receive Social Security retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability benefits can all expect a small gift to be part of each 2015 month: a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 1.7 percent.

Although the average monthly SSD benefit will only rise about $19, it will add up to $228 for the year. And as the old saying goes, every penny counts.

The increase begins in January and will result in average monthly checks going up from $1,146 to $1,165, the Social Security Administration says on its website.

For those Denver readers already receiving SSD (also referred to as SSDI), there are some other new numbers to familiarize yourself with as well. The threshold for earned income (substantial gainful activity or SGA) will rise in the new year from $1,070 to $1,090 per month.

The average monthly benefit for a disabled worker with a spouse and at least one child will rise from $1,943 to $1,970.

For those disabled workers who put off applying for SSD in 2014, it's possible that you will reconsider applying. As you likely know, research over the years has shown that approximately two-thirds of all initial claims are denied by the Social Security Administration.

For some people, that denial might signal the end of their effort to receive benefits. For many others, however, it is when they begin to fight for benefits they believe they have earned and that they deserve. They do so by contacting an experienced attorney to help them navigate the all-important appeals process. A successful appeal means the applicant begins to receive monthly benefits, as well as in many cases, the back benefits owed them from when the initial claim was filed.

All together, it makes the stakes very high for the applicant, which is why so many rely on SSD attorneys to guide them through the process. 

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