The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced an increase in Social Security Disability benefits for 2023. With this announcement, the SSA notes the increase applies to both the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
SSI Disability Increase 2023
Federal law requires the SSA to evaluate benefits each year and make adjustments. This is known as a cost-of-living-adjustment, or COLA for short. COLA is connected to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
The Consumer Price Index is a calculation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. It measures average changes in the prices of certain consumer goods and services. For example, if prices increase due to inflation, the Consumer Price Index also increases. Based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2021 through the third quarter of 2022, SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive an 8.7 percent COLA for 2023.
In addition to existing benefits, claimants awarded new SSI benefits are eligible to receive payments of $914 per month for individuals and $1,371 per month for couples. These payment amounts are up from last year’s amount of $841 for individuals and $1,261 for couples.
Unlike SSI payments, SSDI payment amounts vary based on the income a person earrned prior to becoming disabled. Those receiving SSDI benefits will also note an 8.7 percent COLA on their benefits check in 2023.
SSA Disability Increase 2023
In addition to the annual COLA increase to benefits, SSA also increases the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit every year by the same amount. The SGA is a disability threshold the SSA uses when evaulating an individual’s claim for disability. There are different SGA thresholds for people who are blind, non-blind and for those on a trial work period.
Individuals who are working above SGA earn more money than the disability criteria allows. This disqualifes them from recieving disability benefits. In 2023, SGA increased 8.7 percent. The amounts are:
The History Of COLA
According to Social Security’s website,
“Congress enacted the COLA provision as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments, and automatic annual COLAs began in 1975. Before that, Congress enacted special legislation to increase benefits.
Beginning in 1975, Social Security started automatic annual cost-of-living allowances. The change occurred due to legislation that ties COLAs to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The change means that inflation no longer drains value from Social Security benefits.”
Winston-Salem Disability Lawyers
One of the reasons we encourage individuals to pursue disability claims even if they have been denied previously is because of the long-term value of these benefits.
If you or someone you know is considering applying for or appealing a denied disability claim, we encourage you to contact our firm. Our Winston-Salem disability lawyers have successfully represented thousands of SSI or SSDI claimants at every stage of the process. Contact us today for a free consultation on your claim.