Social Security Announces 2020 Cost of Living Adjustment

The Social Security Administration has announced a modest benefit increase next year for individuals receiving Social Security retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance, or Supplemental Security Income.

Individuals receiving disability benefits will see a 1.6 percent increase in those benefits starting in January 2020.

That means that if you're already receiving Supplemental Security Income, currently capped at $780 per month, you'll see about $12 increase in benefits next year.

Disability Insurance is based on how much you've paid into it over the years, so the increase you'll see is harder to calculate.

The average amount an individual receives for disability insurance is about $1,200 per year, which would see a 2020 cost of living adjustment allowance of about $19.

The 2020 increase is substantially lower than this year's 2.8 percent increase in benefits. Social Security uses the Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index to calculate inflation and determine the yearly increase in benefits.

A lower cost of living increase, which has been common for most recent years, simply means lower inflation in the broader economy.

In addition to the cost of living adjustment, Social Security announced an increase in how it will calculate substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is the amount that you can make from working each month and still qualify for disability benefits.

In 2020, will increase to $1,260 per month for nonblind individuals and $2,110 for blind individuals. Currently, SGA is $1,220 for nonblind claimants and $2,040 for blind claimants. Finally, the amount you can make during a trial work period when you are already receiving benefits will rise to $910 per month.

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