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Each year the Federal government increases Social Security benefits to offset the effects of inflation on fixed income. Prior to 1975, beneficiaries had to await a special act of Congress to receive a benefit increase. In 1973 legislation for this was enacted to provide automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). For Social Security benefit recipients, COLAs are payable in January of each year.

If you are receiving workers’ compensation payments, you may also be eligible to receive COLAs. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (§ 65.2-709) provides that individuals who are receiving total temporary disability benefits may be eligible to receive an increase in their weekly benefits as the result of the cost-of-living increase. This increase is effective each October 1st once eligibility is determined. The individual must give evidence from the Social Security Administration that he/she is not receiving Social Security Disability Benefits at the time or that any Social Security Disability Benefits received are less than eighty percent of the average monthly earnings of the claimant before disability. Undocumented claimants may apply to the Commission for COLA benefits by simply sending a letter stating that the individual is an undocumented worker and is not entitled to social security benefits.

If you have questions about Cost of living adjustments and think you may need representation, then contact me at Abrams Landau Ltd. Perhaps our office can help you.

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