As we mentioned in an earlier post, disability and other payments under Social Security rarely stay the same from year to year. One of the main factors that generally increases the amount of Social Security disability benefits you get each year is the cost of living in America. As required by law, the Social Security Administration applies an automatic cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, which is based on inflation.
COLA is the government’s way of making sure that Georgians and people across the United States will continue to be able to buy the same amount of goods and services as they were able to buy last year. Without COLA, if the price of a good doubles next year, you would only be able to buy half as much, which could be very detrimental to you and your family.
Because of COLA for this upcoming year, the SSA has announced that 2019 payments will increase by 2.8 percent for the 62 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits and the eight million people receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits. The increase will go into effect on December 31, 2018. Last year, beneficiaries received only a 2 percent increase, making this upcoming 2.8 percent increase the largest year-over-year increase since 2012.
If you are a single person receiving SSI, the maximum monthly federal payment will increase from $750 to $771. If you are part of a couple receiving SSI, your maximum monthly federal payment will increase from $1,125 to $1,157 next year.
If you are receiving disability benefits, any increase to your disability payments based on COLA will be automatically applied. In other words, you will not have to apply for the increase with the SSA. For more information on how much you can expect to receive next year in disability benefits, or to apply for disability benefits, you may want to consider seeking professional guidance.