The cost of living index shows how much it costs to maintain a living in a certain location, and it varies depending on location. For instance, the cost of living is much higher in New York City than it is in most cities across the country, and workers in NYC generally have a higher salary. But making more money does not necessarily mean living in the lap of luxury, because basic needs cost more in these areas. Each year the cost of living seems to go up, regardless of where you live, because things like groceries, rent, and gas increase in price. So if you get a fixed amount of disability pay, when the cost to maintain rent and pay utilities goes up you might wonder if your Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be adjusted upward.
Fortunately, there are times when the Social Security Administration (SSA) increases benefits. Here are the general rules:
- When the cost of living goes up by at least 0.1%, SSI and SSDI will increase to reflect higher expenses associated with meeting basic needs.
- The increase is effective in January of the following year for SSDI.
- For SSI payments, increases due to cost of living adjustments are effective in December.
Making the most of your benefits will help to ensure you have enough money for your needs. For 2019 recipients can expect to see an increase of $21.00 in their SSI payments. If you live in a household where more than one person is getting benefits, the increase is not doubled, but a couple does get more of an increase than an individual. A couple will get $32.00 more in SSI. Because SSDI is dependent upon how much you paid in to the system before becoming disabled, the amount of increase varies. But for 2019 an estimated SSDI increase is $34.00 per month. These amounts may not sound like much, but when you are counting on every penny to pay the bills, every little increase helps. If you need help getting SSDI or SSI, we are here to help. We have experience with every aspect of a disability claim, including the initial application and filing an appeal if you are denied. We can explain how the process works, so you know what to expect, and will help you put your best foot forward when seeking benefits.
If you have questions about social security disability benefits and cost of living increases, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached at 855-727-6353.