The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made several changes to Social Security benefits this year. These changes include a higher cost-of-of living adjustment, an increase in full retirement age and new income limits for disability recipients. Staying up-to-date on changes to Social Security is vital because these changes may affect your eligibility for benefits and your benefit amount.
Our licensed Green Bay Social Security Disability lawyers have many years of experience helping clients apply for benefits. It costs nothing to talk to a lawyer at our firm. The initial consultation is 100 percent free with no obligation to move forward.
Call (877) 888-5201 to learn more.
Significant Increase in Cost-of-Living Adjustment
The cost-of-living adjustment or COLA is an increase made to Social Security benefits to counteract the effects of inflation. The COLA has averaged 1.4 percent in the past 10 years.
This year, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are receiving a 5.9 percent increase to their monthly benefits. This is the largest COLA in forty years.
The monthly maximum federal amounts for SSI are $841 for eligible individuals (from $794 last year) and $1,261 for eligible couples (from $1,191 last year). Other Social Security benefits increases include:
- A payment increase of $76 per month ($1,282 to $1,358) for the average disabled worker
- A payment increase of $92 per month (from $1,565 to $1,657) for the average retired worker
- A payment increase of $154 per month (from $2,599 to $2,753) for the average aged couple, both receiving benefits
Social Security Retirement Age Going Up
Full retirement age is increasing to 67 for those born in 1960. This is a two-month increase compared to last year at 66 years and 10 months for those born in 1959. For anyone born between 1955 and 1959, the full retirement age is increasing in two-month increments until age 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
Workers who claim Social Security before their full retirement age will receive a permanent reduction in their monthly payments. Early retirement at age 62 reduces a recipient’s benefit amount by 30 percent. If you wait to until full retirement age, you may be able to receive up to $3,345 per month.
New Income Limits for Disability Recipients
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you are not able to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you earn more than a certain amount each month, you have engaged in SGA.
Non-blind SSDI and SSI recipients can also now earn up to $1,350 per month without their benefits being stopped. This is an increase of $40 per month or $480 extra annually.
Blind SSDI recipients can now earn up to $2,260 a month without their benefits being stopped. (SGA does not apply to blind SSDI recipients). This is an increase of $70 per month or $840 extra annually.
If you receive SSDI, you may be able to test your ability to work for nine months and still receive your full benefit in a trial work period (TWP). Any month you earn over $970 will count toward your TWP.
Social Security Benefits Staying the Same
Although there are several changes to Social Security benefits – such as the 5.9 percent benefit increase – there are some things that are not changing this year.
For instance, the SSI resource limits will stay the same. The value of your resources is one important factor that determines your eligibility for SSI benefits. Your resources (cash, bonds, stocks, personal property, etc.) must not exceed $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples.
Social Security tax rates will stay the same for employees at 6.2 percent and 12.4 for self-employed individuals. There is also no limit on the amount of earnings subject to Medicare tax. Medicare health care coverage is available for certain people with disabilities who are under age 65.
Call Our Firm for Answers to Your Questions
At Sigman Janssen, we understand the impact a denied disability claim can have on an individual and his or her family, especially when these benefits are a claimant’s main source of income. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals in the claims and appeals processes. We are well-versed in the SSA’s regulations and have the resources needed to recover the benefits our clients’ needs.
We offer initial consultations at no cost. You are not obligated to move forward after this meeting. Our firm is available anytime, day or night, to take your call and answer any questions you may have.
Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (877) 888-5201