It’s that time of the year again! Mid-October is the time of the year when the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases its annual changes to Social Security. These changes are often small and incremental, but they can affect around 19.5 million Americans who claim disability benefits and an extra 42 million Americans who claim retirement benefits. That means it can be important to the lives of SSDI and SSI claimants, so here are some things you may need to know about these changes.
Changes to Social Security Disability in 2018
As mentioned in a previous blog, the Cost of Living Adjustment is going up by 2 percent in 2018. That’s the largest COLA increase in six years, but it’s not all good news. The reason the COLA increased is due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which tore through the gulf coast and shutdown some of the nation’s oil production. This caused inflation, which increased the COLA. However, many people feel this increase will do very little for beneficiaries who may see the majority of the benefit get eaten by an increase in Medicare premiums.
Changes to Substantial Gainful Activity in 2018
Substantial Gainful Activity is one of the measures that the SSA uses to see if a claimant is still eligible to receive monthly payments. If a person earns more than the allowed threshold, then their benefits could be ended. Last year that threshold was measured at $1,950 for claimants declared legally blind and $1,170 for those who had other disabilities. For 2018, these thresholds will increase to $1,970 and $1,180 respectively. Once again, these increases are modest at best, but these numbers are important to know in order to make sure claimants can properly manage their finances.
To learn more about the changes implemented by the SSA, and how you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits, then keep following the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman. We are here to help people with disabilities get the benefits they need to get by.