Changes Announced for Social Security in 2019

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced several benefit changes for 2019 that will increase the amount of monthly compensation received by its beneficiaries.

Currently, those who perform substantial gainful activity — that is, the level of work that a person without a disability can do — can now meet a higher threshold in order to be eligible for benefits. This year, those who are sight-impaired could make no more than $1,970 a month; in 2019, the monthly threshold will be raised to $2,040. Those who are not considered blind will likewise have their threshold moved up from $1,180 a month in 2018 to $1,220 a month next year.

The SSA has also implemented a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for disabled workers and their families receiving Social Security benefits, effective January 2019. This year, all disabled workers collect an estimated average of $1,200 a month, while those who have families receive $2,072 a month. After the COLA takes place, disabled workers get $1,234 monthly and disabled Social Security beneficiaries with families will receive a monthly payment of $2,130.

The SSI federal payment standard for individuals and couples will also rise. For individuals, the amount went up from $750 monthly this year to $771 in 2019. Next year, couples will get $1,157 a month, compared to $1,125 this year. (SSI is a needs-based program for those who are not covered by SSD.)

Determining whether you receive SSD or SSI benefits is based, not just your income or assets, but on whether you meet the federal government’s criteria on what constitutes a disability. If you or a loved one need assistance in applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, it is important to follow through with the appeals process to potentially receive the money you may be entitled to. For assistance with disability applications and appeals, contact the attorneys at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining SSD or SSI benefits. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.

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