Beginning in January, the estimated 70 million Americans who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will see their monthly payments increase by 8.7%. The move – announced on Oct. 13 by the Social Security Administration (SSA) – represents the highest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 41 years.
For the nearly 7.7 million disabled workers who received Social Security disability (SSD) benefits in September, the government’s announcement means a monthly increase of more than $100.
Average payment increases to $1,483
In September, a disabled worker on SSD benefits received an average monthly payment of $1,363. Once the COLA takes effect in January, the average worker with disabilities will receive $1,483, an amount representing a $120 monthly increase.
Millions of people had waited in anticipation of the government’s announcement. The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index for United Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Each year, the SSA determines the COLA by reviewing and comparing the change in the CPI-W for the third quarter of consecutive years.
This year’s COLA of 8.7% ranks as the highest amount since 1981 when Social Security recipients saw an 11.2% increase.
In September, nearly 9 million people received SSD benefits. This list includes 7.7 million disabled workers, 93,000 spouses and 1.2 million children.
The announcement provides uplifting news for the millions who receive SSD benefits. Due to the seriousness of their ailment or condition, some of the disabled workers may never work again. They continue to face many challenges, but they may welcome every little bit of good news.