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Glossary of Social Security Disability Law Terms

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Child: May include biological children or any other child who can inherit your personal property under State law or who meets certain specific requirements under the Social Security Act.

COLA: Cost of Living Adjustment. Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments are increased each year to keep up with inflation.

Computation Years: Computation years are the years with highest earnings selected from the “base years.”

CPI: Consumer Price Index. An index prepared by the U. S. Department of Labor that charts the rise in costs for selected goods and services. This index is used to compute COLA increases.

Carve out: Redirected payroll taxes that were going into the Social Security system and are now going into private retirement accounts. The money is “carved out” of the Social Security system and not available to pay benefits for current retirees.