The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced it will implement a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in 2013. The Agency stated the payment boost will result in an increase in the average monthly retirement benefit of $21 and the average monthly disability benefit of $19. This means disabled Americans will receive an average of $1,132 per month beginning next year. Additionally, the monthly benefit payment for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will increase by $12 to $710.
The benefit increase will reportedly affect several other aspects of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI programs in 2013. The substantial gainful activity cap for both SSDI and SSI beneficiaries will increase by $30 per month for individuals who are not blind and $50 per month for those who are blind. This means disabled Americans can earn more through part-time work before their monthly benefit check is impacted. Meanwhile, the trial work period, or amount of compensation a disabled individual may earn in any nine month period prior to losing his or her disabled status, for SSDI recipients will increase by $30 per month. In 2013, the SSI student exclusion monthly limit will also increase by $30 and the annual limit will increase by $120.
The federal SSI program was added to the nation’s Social Security program in 1972 in order to provide additional income to blind, disabled, and aged Americans based on financial need. To qualify for SSI, an individual may not have more than $2,000 in assets, and a couple may not have more than $3,000 in assets. In addition to financial compensation, disabled individuals who receive benefits pursuant to the SSI program may receive job counseling and training at no cost.
The SSDI program offers financial support to injured or disabled Americans who are unable to work for at least one year. In addition, SSDI beneficiaries are entitled to receive federal health care benefits like Medicare or Medicaid. Before a disabled individual may collect SSDI benefits, however, he or she must have earned wages at some point. Unfortunately, applying for SSDI benefits can be both frustrating and time consuming. If you have a physical or mental disability that has left you unable to work, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Texas social security disability lawyer today.