Changes Coming to Social Security Disability Benefits in 2020

Posted on behalf of Dayes Law Firm PC on Nov 12, 2019 in SSD

social security disability changes 2020Every year in the fall, the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases its annual “Fact Sheet” providing updates on earning limits, benefit amounts and more. It is important to stay informed about how Social Security will be changing in 2020 so you know what you should expect to be paid and what it takes to qualify for benefits.

If you are considering applying for benefits or have had your disability claim denied, we recommend that you reach out to one of our Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers for a risk-free legal consultation.

Cost of Living Adjustment

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is a measurement of the inflation Social Security recipients have faced and represents the raise they will expect to receive for the following year. The average COLA has been about 1.4 percent within the past decade.

In 2020, both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 1.6 percent for almost 69 million Americans. This is more than a percentage point below this year’s COLA (at 2.8 percent).

Since SSI is strictly a needs-based program, only those with minimum assets and income may qualify for benefits. The maximum SSI federal payment for individuals will increase from $771 to $783. For couples, it will increase from $1,157 to $1,175.

Additional payment amounts will include the following:

  • Average estimated monthly Social Security benefits for all disabled workers will increase from $1,238 to $1,258
  • Average estimated monthly Social Security benefits for a disabled worker and his or her spouse with more than one child will increase from $2,141 to $2,176

Disability Income Threshold

In order to be eligible for disability benefits, your income cannot exceed the SSA’s substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. In 2020, that amount is $1,260 for non-blind disabled SSDI or SSI applicants, and $2,110 for blind SSDI applicants (the SGA does not apply to blind SSI applicants).

During a nine-month trial work period, an SSDI applicant can test his or her ability to work while continuing to receive disability benefits regardless of whether he or she exceeds the SGA limit. This means that in 2020, months in which you earn $910 or more will count towards your trial work period, up $30 from $880 or more a month in 2019.  

Student Earned Income Exclusion

The student earned income exclusion is an SSI work incentive that allows certain students under the age of 22 regularly attending school the ability to exclude an amount of their earned income so they can keep more of their SSI benefits. The monthly limit for student earned income exclusion in 2020 will be $1,900 while the annual limit will be $7,670.

Full Retirement Age

The full retirement age in 2020 will increase to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Recipients may still be able to obtain retirement benefits as early as 62 years of age, but their monthly payments will be reduced. They will have to wait until 66 and eight months to claim full retirement age benefits.

Contact Our Disability Attorneys to Learn More

If you believe that these changes will impact your benefits or your ability to apply for benefits, contact our experienced legal team at Dayes Law Firm for more information. We are prepared to assist you throughout the claims process or help you file an appeal if necessary.

We offer free consultations at no risk or obligation to you. Let us review your situation and determine whether you may be able to obtain benefits. We work on contingency so there are no upfront fees.

Contact our office today by calling 1-800-503-2000.

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