Articles Posted in Cost of Living Adjustment

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Some good news appears on the Social Security horizon.  Benefits increase, premiums decrease, and the amount you can earn while receiving retirement goes up.  For those in the higher income brackets, more income will be taxed however.

For the first time in years, SSA implemented a large cost of living adjustment at 8.7%.  Beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) will see their first payments increased with the January benefit.  The payment will arrive in bank accounts on December 30, 2022 according to the SSA’s payment schedule.  The monthly maximum federal SSI amount is $914.  The maximum amount for eligible couples is $1371.  An essential individual can received $458.

Another 2023 change will raise the limit on the annual earnings that can be taxed by Social Security.  Maximum taxable earnings rise to $160,200 in 2023 from $147,000 in 2022.

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The Social Security Administration announced a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase of 5.9 % for disability beneficiaries in 2022.  It was the highest COLA increase in years, taking into consideration inflation and the increase in the cost of basic goods and services. However, all signs are that the increase hasn’t helped disability beneficiaries keep up with the soaring costs of living.

For many Social Security disability beneficiaries, especially those in poor socioeconomic conditions, these monthly disability benefits checks are their only source of income.  Disability beneficiaries are not able to work and earn any other income.  This group of people relies solely on benefits to manage their living expenses and they stand to be hurt the most by the rising cost of living.

The average 2022 benefits increase is about $76. According to many disability advocates, once expenses like Medicare are removed, the final amount left is meager.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for both Social Security disability benefits as well as Supplemental Security Income benefits. Disability beneficiaries will receive a 1.6% increase in their benefits, applying to all Social Security disability benefits from January 2020.

Another important announcement by the SSA has to do with the increase in the substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold. SGA refers to work that helps a person earn a certain amount of money. A person engaging in SGA is not eligible for disability benefits. Those levels have now been increased to $1,260 per month from $1,220 per month. This applies to non-blind beneficiaries. Blind or visually-impaired persons typically have a higher substantial gainful activity limit. The current limit is $2,040, and this has been increased to $2,110.

There has also been an increase in the Trial Work Period threshold for Social Security disability beneficiaries. This has been increased to $910 per month, from the current $880 per month.  Correspondingly, there has also been an increase in the threshold of Social Security benefits earnings that are subject to taxes.  That limit has been increased from the current $132,900 to $137,700.

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On October 11, 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that social security payments will increase for more than 67 million Americans in 2019 as part of the cost-of-living adjustment. Payments are set to rise 2.8% for social security beneficiaries 2019, as a result of inflation. This increase will take effect on December 31, 2018, for the 8 million recipients of SSI and in January 2019 for 62 million Americans receiving Social Security.  For individuals receiving SSI, the maximum federal payment will increase to $771 per month, an increase from $750 per month this year. This cost-of-living adjustment is slightly higher than the increase of 2% from 2017 to 2018, which is good news for those receiving Social Security benefits. For a fact sheet showing the effects of this adjustment, click here.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security taxes will increase as well, from $128,400 to $132,900. Those receiving Social Security or SSI benefits are typically notified via mail in early December about their new benefit amount. However, this year for this first time, many people will also be able to view their benefits for the following year online at

If you have any questions about cost-of-living adjustments or applying for disability benefits, contact this law firm. 

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Cost of LIving.JPGBeneficiaries of Social Security who are currently receiving payments are likely to see a small increase in monthly benefits. There was a cost of living adjustment beginning in in January 2013.

Social Security instituted a 1.7% increase in the annual cost-of-living adjustment, and this will result lead in a slight increase in monthly benefits for Social Security beneficiaries. The increase is modest, but as Social Security Disability lawyers see it, even a slight increase over time can add up.

Based on an average monthly Social Security Disability of $1111.68 in November 2012, the increase will probably add up to about $19 per month. That works out to around $220 starting in January 2030.

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