WILL SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS INCREASE?
In order to know if your Social Security benefits will increase, you need to first understand the basics of your benefits. There are Social Security Disability benefits. Also, there are Supplemental Security Income benefits. Finally, there are retirement benefits. All three of these programs are run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This article will discuss whether or not your benefits will increase and the relationship between the benefit programs.
WHAT ARE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides cash benefits to people who are unable to work for one year or more because of a physical or mental illness.
SSDI benefits are available only for those who have worked a certain number of quarters and paid their Social Security taxes. Younger workers may qualify for SSDI benefits with fewer credits and less recent work.
Additionally, in order to get benefits, you must be totally disabled. This means that you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from working at any job for at least one year. If your medical condition is only going to last for a short time, then you cannot get benefits. In all cases, to be paid benefits you must be off work or be expected to be off work for at least one year or more.
In order to determine if you are totally disabled, the SSA will consider whether you have a medical condition that meets the SSA listing. Or, you must be found eligible for benefits under a vocational analysis. Learn more about the vocational analysis here. In order for the SSA to pay you benefits, you must be unable to work at any job in the national economy, not just your past job.
CAN MONTHLY SSDI BENEFITS INCREASE?
If you are getting SSDI or SSI benefits, you may wonder if your monthly benefits from the SSA can increase. Once you are on SSDI benefits, you have stopped working due to your medical condition. Therefore, you can’t earn more money. Because you aren’t working and paying taxes, your benefits will stay at the amount you are currently being paid. Your benefits cannot increase.
Why? Because your SSDI amount is based on your earnings. Whatever amount of money you are receiving is tied to the amount of money you made. If you had made more money and paid more taxes, then you would be getting a higher benefit. Once you are on SSDI benefits, your benefit amount can’t change. Unless you go back to work and earn more money.
Each persons SSDI benefit is different because everyone makes different amounts of money. Your monthly SSDI amount is based upon your lifetime average earnings at work. There is no sliding scale based on the severity of your medical condition. You either have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working or you do not. There is no benefit payment in the middle. If you win SSDI benefits, the SSA will pay you monthly benefits based on your individual earning record. As an example, the average SSDI benefit in 2022 was $1,363 a month. Watch the video below for information about an increase in monthly benefits.
CAN MONTHLY SSI BENEFITS INCREASE?
Yes. Monthly SSI benefits can increase, but only with a cost of living increase. For example, in 2022, monthly SSI payments were $841 for an individual and $1,261 for a couple. In 2023, SSI payments are going up due to a cost of living increase from the federal government.
SSI payments in 2023 will be $914 for an individual and $1371 for an eligible couple. These amounts do not reflect any deductions for in-kind income, housing, or any state additions to the monthly payment.
If you receive SSI payments, even if your mental or physical condition gets worse, you cannot get more SSI money than what the program pays. Therefore, without any deductions, as an individual you will receive $914 per month in 2023. SSI eligibility is based on your disability status and the amount of your income and assets. If you qualify for the benefit, your monthly payment only goes up if the government gives a cost of living increase. However, if your circumstances change, like getting married, you SSI benefits may cease. To find out more information about what happens to SSI benefits when you get married, read here.
SSDI BENEFITS CONVERT INTO RETIREMENT BENEFITS, BUT THEY DO NOT INCREASE
You need to understand that your Social Security Disability benefits do convert to Social Security Retirement benefits once you reach your full retirement age. However, your monthly benefit will not change. You will continue to receive the same amount of money in your monthly check.
Also, you do not need to do anything in order to receive your retirement benefits. The SSA will simply change your SSDI benefit into a retirement benefit once you reach full retirement age. When you reach that age, however, can vary depending on the year in which you were born.
Your full retirement age can range between 65 and 67 years of age. The date you can retire and get all of your benefits, depends on the month and year of your birth. People born after 1942 have a full retirement age of 66 years or older. Those born in 1960 or later must wait until they are 67 years old to start collecting full retirement benefits.
YOUR FULL RETIREMENT BENEFIT IS THE SAME AMOUNT AS YOUR SSDI BENEFIT
When a person reaches full retirement age, their SSDI benefit will turn into regular Social Security retirement benefits. This rule applies to both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Your monthly benefit amount does not change when it converts into Social Security retirement benefits. The only thing that will change your monthly retirement amount will be cost of living adjustments. Your monthly SSDI benefit amount is the same amount of money you would receive at your full retirement age, no matter how old you are when you became disabled.
The SSA also lets you get Medicare benefits early if you receive SSDI benefits. You can get Medicare benefits after a 29 month waiting period from your onset date of disability, even if you are not yet 65 years old. You can learn more information about Medicare benefits here.
One thing to be aware of is this: your retirement benefits do not go up if your health gets worse. Your retirement, just like SSDI benefits, is based on your own personal earnings record. Therefore, except for federal cost of living increases, your monthly benefit doesn’t increase with age or illness.
YOU DON’T GET AN INCREASE IN RETIREMENT BENEFITS IF YOUR HEALTH GETS WORSE
Every day we receive phone calls from people who are getting retirement benefits from the SSA. Normally, these people have been receiving retirement benefits for number of years and now that they are getting older, their health is worse. For example, a 72 year old person called our office and told us he was receiving retirement benefits. He had recently undergone double leg amputations due to diabetes and wanted to know if he could get more money because now he was disabled.
While it seems like this person should get more money from the SSA because of the amputations, the reality is benefits just don’t work that way.
Your SSDI benefit amount is based on the amount of money you earned during your working years. Everyone’s SSDI amount is different. The only way to get a higher amount of SSDI money is to go back to work and earn more money than you did before.
THE COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT INCREASES YOUR BENEFITS
Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 8.7% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2023. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January.
Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises. The cost of living increase is measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index rises when inflation increases, which then leads to a higher cost-of-living. Everyone has seen this happen in the last year, as the cost of food, gas, rent, and interest rates have gone up. When the cost of living goes up, the prices for goods and services are higher. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) helps to offset these costs.
The SSA will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December 2022 to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees.
MEDICARE PREMIUMS ARE GOING DOWN & SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE INCREASING
In 2023, the SSA announced that Medicare premiums are going down. While at the same time, Social Security benefits are increasing by 8.7%. Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said, “Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up in 2023, which will give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room. This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in over a decade that Medicare premiums are not rising and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans who count on the benefits they have earned.”
January 2023 marks when other changes will happen based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax in 2023 will be higher. The retirement earnings test exempt amount will also change in 2023.
RETIREMENT BENEFITS LAST AS LONG AS YOU LIVE
Your SSA benefits last as long as you live. Taking benefits before your full retirement age (as early as age 62) lowers the amount you get each month for the rest of your life. However, delaying benefits past your full retirement age (up to age 70) increases the monthly amount for the rest of your life. The SSA’s Life Expectancy Calculator can make a rough estimate of how long you might live based on your age and gender. You can use the life expectancy calculator to plan for retirement.
YOU CAN WORK AND RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS
If you get retirement benefits but want to continue to work, you can. However, depending on how much you earn before full retirement age, the SSA might temporarily withhold some or all of your benefit amount. When you reach full retirement age, they will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for the months they reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Any earnings after you reach your full retirement age won’t reduce your benefits. Learn more about working and getting retirement benefits here.
MORE WORK MAY INCREASE YOUR MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT IN RETIREMENT
Your earnings can increase your monthly benefit amount, even after you start receiving benefits. Each year, the SSA checks your earnings record. If your latest year of earnings turns out to be one of your highest 35 years, then the SSA will automatically recalculate your benefit amount and pay you any increase due. You can get additional estimates based on what you think your future earnings will be with the Social Security Retirement Calculator.
DON’T FORGET THAT SOME SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS CAN BE TAXED
You may have to pay federal income taxes on a portion of your Social Security benefits if your total income is above a certain amount. Learn more by reading Social Security’s information on benefit taxes.
HOW TO APPLY FOR SSDI AND SSI BENEFITS
If your medical conditions are such that they keep you from working for over a year, then you may be able to get monthly SSDI benefits. Applying for benefits with our help is simple. We will help you file your application for benefits online on Social Security’s website.
You may not know how to do that. Fortunately, we do. We have spent over 30 years helping clients apply for and win SSD benefits. If you receive SSDI benefits, then within 29 months of your onset date of disability, you will also receive Medicare benefits. Medicare benefits are a form of health insurance that pays your medical bills. Find out more about Medicare benefits here.
Make sure to apply for SSD and SSI benefits as soon as you know that you are not going to be able to return to work. If you are already getting VA benefits, then you probably will not receive SSI benefits, because you might receive too much money from the VA. However, you can still apply for SSI benefits to see if you can get them. SSI benefits pay out from the date of your application and they come with Medicaid benefits. Additionally, benefits do not pay if your disability began after your date last insured. Learn more about the date last insured here.
With SSDI benefits, you can receive past due benefits one year prior to the date of your application. The opposite is true with SSI benefits. SSI benefits begin the day you apply and they do not go back prior to that date. If you need to know how to check on the status of your SSDI or SSI application, read here. If you do not apply quickly, you are losing benefits. Learn more about past due benefits here.
HIRE THE LAW FIRM WITH THE MOST EXPERIENCE TO WIN YOUR BENEFITS
Are ready to apply for benefits? Then you should hire the best attorney you can find. You will want to hire the firm who has the most experience in order to win your veteran benefits and your SSDI benefits. Also, you want to hire the SSDI lawyer who will support you during the application and appeal process. You should also look for a law firm who specializes in SSD & SSI benefits like Cannon Disability Law. We want to be your legal team. The lawyers at Cannon Disability have won over 20,000 SSD cases in the last 30 years.
Your legal team should also consist of your doctors. Because you will need treatment and possibly surgery for your physical condition, such as spinal arthritis. Your doctor can order an MRI and get you the treatment you need. Learn more about back and spinal conditions here. We also have information on shoulder pain and neck pain that cause you to be unable to work. Additionally, you will also need mental health treatment if you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Anxiety Disorder from service. The VA provides individual and group therapy options. They also have treatment programs where you can stay in the hospital for care.
This website contains a list of free and low-cost physicians and clinics in both Utah and Nevada’s free and low cost services. We also have information on Idaho’s free health services and California’s free medical services on our website. If you are suffering from a severe medical condition, then get treatment. Next, contact us today for help in filing your application for SSDI and SSI benefits.
HIRE CANNON DISABILITY TO WIN YOUR SSDI BENEFITS
Contacting Cannon Disability Law is free. We offer a free review of your case. Also, we do not charge an attorney fee unless we win your case. Cannon Disability Law is one of the best firms in the country. We are known as one of the best Social Security Disability firms in Las Vegas, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah. We have won over $100 million in both ongoing and back benefits.
The lawyers at Cannon Disability Law are also members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives (NOSSCR). NOSSCR is a national organization that helps those who need SSDI and SSI benefits. If you need more information about how to win benefits, then you can learn about Utah SSD benefits here. Nevada Disability Information can also be found on this website. If you are from California, our website has California disability information. However, we can represent you no matter where you live.
In order to fight the SSA’s denials, you need a law firm with years of experience. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been helping people who need SSDI benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have many years of legal experience. Mr. Bunkall has a license to practice in Idaho. Learn more about filing for Idaho SSDI benefits here. Colorado benefit information can be found here.
Together, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings. You can trust us. We will do everything we can to win your benefits. Call now and win the SSDI and SSI benefits you deserve.
LEGAL EXPERIENCE WINS BENEFITS
If you need SSDI and SSI benefits, you should contact us for help today. While we cannot increase your monthly benefits, since they are based on your work history, we can help you win your benefits. Not many law firms understand the Social Security appeal process. We are one of just a few law firms who have years of legal experience with the Social Security system and we are near you.
Take advantage of our free review of your case. Call and we will answer your questions. You can explain why your medical condition prevents you from working. We will be able to tell you if you qualify for benefits. We can also help you apply. Because we are experts in SSDI benefits, we will do our best to win your benefits and make the process easy for you. If you are worried about the cost of an attorney, read here about how to hire us with no money upfront.
Find out now if we can help you obtain SSDI benefits and SSI benefits. Contact us for a free review of your case. Put our years of legal experience to work for you. We want to help you. Contact us now.