Disability recipients will see a much more modest increase in benefits than what they saw last year.
The Social Security Administration has announced 3.2 percent increase in benefits for retirees and those receiving disability in 2024.
What that means in real terms is that the average beneficiary should see their monthly payments go up by about $50. Currently, the average disabled worker gets a monthly benefit of $1,537, according to SSA.
In addition, the maximum amount that an individual receiving supplemental security income benefits can receive will go up to $943.
Social Security has also announced that Substantial Gainful Activity, or the amount an individual can receive and still be eligible for disability benefits will increase to $1,550 for non-blind claimants in 2024.
And for those receiving disability insurance benefits, they can make up to $1,110 per month next year before triggering the Trial Work Period that can result in decreased and discontinued benefits.
The 3.2 percent increase is substantially less than the 2023 COLA increase of 8.7 percent. That sizable increase last year was fueled by surging inflation impacting consumer prices.
When calculating the cost of living increase, Social Security looks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, or CPI, though critics say the CPI bears little resemblance to the actual spending patterns of the disabled and elderly.
And further complicating matters is that an anticipated increase in Medicare premiums for 2024, which has not yet been announced, will likely eat up the increased payments for those receiving disability insurance.