The Social Security Disability lawyers at Aronova & Associates stay on top of all the latest changes to SSDI policy in New York so that our clients get the best opportunity to maximize their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance applicants and benefits recipients will see several changes in 2018.
The 2018 cost of living adjustment (COLA) will increase benefits by 2%, which is the largest COLA increase since 2012. COLA increases typically track the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). When inflation is low, as it has been for the past several years, the CPI changes only slightly, or not at all. The cumulative increase in the CPI over the past six years accounts for the 2% 2018 SSDI increase.
Single individuals receiving maximum federal benefits will see their payouts increase from $735 to $759 per month. Married couples will see a monthly increase from $1,103 to $1,125. In general, the average benefits paid to all disabled workers will grow from $1,173 to $1,197 per month.
The Social Security Administration limits the amount of income that a disabled worker may receive in exchange for any substantial gainful activity (SGA), without forfeiting disability benefits. The monthly SGA income limit has increased in 2018 by $10 for a non-blind person to $1,180, and by $20 for a blind person to $1,970. Further, a disabled person who returns to work on a trial basis, and in 2018 earns more than $850 per month, will not jeopardize his or her SSDI benefits. The Administration will not consider a trial work period to be proof of an ability to return to full-time work until the worker has performed services for nine months in a rolling 60-month period. Those nine months can be non-consecutive.
In 2018, students under the age of 21 that regularly attend school can exclude up to $1,820 per month, with a maximum allowable annual exclusion of $7,350, from SSDI benefits. This enables students to retain a larger portion of those benefits, and will help many of them stay in school for additional education and training.
Social Security disability insurance is still a needs-based program. Individuals that own more than $2,000 in assets and couples that own more than $3,000 will begin to see their SSDI benefits decrease, as the Administration expects them to use more of their assets and resources to pay their expenses. These resource limits did not change in 2018. The administration has a number of rules that it uses to determine what resources are considered against this limit, and which resources may be excluded.
Our SSDI attorneys represent disabled workers in Manhattan, the five boroughs, and Nassau County, Long Island, to apply for and receive the Social Security Disability Income benefits they deserve when they are unable to work due to a debilitating injury.
The Social Security Administration receives thousands of applications for SSDI benefits every week. Give yourself the best chance at getting approved the first time by enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and helpful attorney at Aronova & Associates. Call today for a free consultation.
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