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Will Social Security Disability payments increase in 2018?

There's some good news on the horizon for disabled recipients of Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration has announced a 2 percent increase in payments for 2018. We'll review what this could mean for our Osceola County readers; this information is intended to be general in nature, not specific legal advice.

The increase is what the SSA calls a cost-of-living adjustment. COLAs began in 1975 as a way to keep benefits up to par with inflation. The COLA increase is linked to other economic indicators in such a way that a COLA will occur automatically when inflation is also on the rise. Previously, it required an act of Congress to increase the amount paid to Social Security recipients.

Let's take a look at what a 2 percent COLA means for disabled workers on average. The average monthly payment for all disabled workers in 2017 was $1,173. After the COLA, that average will rise to $1,197. For married disabled workers with at least one child, the average will rise in 2018 to $2,051 from its previous monthly rate of $2,011.

The thresholds to receive SSD benefits will also see an increase. Blind individuals will be able to receive an extra $20 per month, up from $1,950 to $1,970, and still be eligible. Others who are disables but not blind will see a $10 increase in their eligibility threshold, which will be set at $1,180 in 2018.

This adjustment will be welcome for those Osceola Country residents who number among the 61 million SSD beneficiaries in the country today. SSD is an essential form of support for disabled individuals and their families; a legal professional can help prepare an application for benefits or fight back if a claim is denied.

Source: SSA.gov, "Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)," accessed on Nov. 12, 2017

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