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Social Security Disability, Veterans Benefits

and Injury and Accident Claims

Social Security 2019 COLA Adds Little

Published on December 3rd, 2019

Each year, Social Security benefits are adjusted based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the 3rd quarter of the prior year through the 3rd quarter of the current year. This year, beneficiaries will be receiving an increase of 1.6 percent for 2020. Sadly, this hardly feels sufficient to keep up with increased costs of shelter, food and medical care which are the primary expenses for the retired and the disabled.

Summary of Increases:

  • The base SSI payment for an individual will rise to $783/month and for a couple it will be $1,175/month.
  • The estimated average SSDI payment for all disabled workers in 2020 will be approximately $1,258 but this varies greatly depending upon the earnings of the beneficiary while working.
  • The amount of earnings that qualifies as “substantial gainful activity” in 2019 for non-blind claimants was $1,220 and that will rise to $1,260 in 2020.
  • The amount of earnings for a Trial Work Period month in 2020 will be $910/month, an increase from the $880/month definition in 2019.
  • Workers paying their OASDI taxes will purchase a quarter of coverage with earnings of $1,410 in 2010. The amount of earnings for one quarter of coverage in 2019 was $1,360.
  • For individuals who choose early retirement benefits their earnings cap in 2020 will rise to $18,240/year, a slight increase from $17,640/year in 2019.
  • The maximum taxable earnings for workers for OASDI will rise to $137,700 in 2020 – there is no impact on the Medicare tax rate for workers.
There is much political controversy over the calculation of the cost of living adjustment in Congress. Most of the legislative proposals in the recent past would decrease the annual COLA for most beneficiaries. However, a 1.6% COLA is already minimal for people dependent on these benefits to support themselves and their families.
We encourage all people concerned with the ability of retirees and the disabled who receive these benefits to be actively contacting their congressional representatives insisting that they support the sustainability and growth of the Social Security Trust Funds.
Schedule Your 2020 Consultation
 As we begin to look towards 2020, we continue to search for new ways to work with our partners helping people with severe disabilities. We are already scheduling in-service presentations on Social Security Disability benefits for agencies in our community and would like to include you on our calendar. There is no fee for these discussions and they provide a wonderful opportunity to answer questions and provide information for professionals working with the disabled population. Give us a call or email!

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