How to Increase SSDI and SSI Payments

How to Increase SSDI and SSI Payments

While many Americans across the United States have enjoyed recent gas prices that are much lower than prices several years ago, it is no secret that the cost of other goods continues to rise. For Americans on fixed incomes, such as those receiving Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI), these increasing costs can strain their household budgets and make meeting basic living expenses challenging. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) periodically grants cost of living increases (called COLA) to the amount of benefits paid to beneficiaries, sometimes this is not enough to keep up with inflation. Can recipients of SSDI and SSI benefits increase the amount of their benefits if their benefits are not enough?

COLA Increases Are the Main Method By Which Benefits Are Increased

SSDI benefits are mainly increased through COLA increases authorized each year by the SSA. These increases are meant to help beneficiaries meet the rising costs of goods and services. Although there have been COLA increases for many years in the past, it is uncertain if COLA increases will be granted in the future given that many have warned the SSDI trust will run out of funds in the near future.

The only other known method to increase the amount of SSDI benefits that one will receive is to accumulate more work history prior to applying for benefits. This is because the amount of SSDI benefits an applicant will receive will depend on the amount of work history that applicant has.

Accumulating additional work history after already being approved to receive SSDI benefits can be tricky – even dangerous – to do and is generally not recommended. In order to initially receive SSDI benefits, the applicant must show that he or she is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (defined typically as earning more than a certain amount of income in a given month at some type of job). A recipient of SSDI benefits who returns to work and begins earning more than SGA limits, the SSDI benefits may be terminated completely.

What About SSI Benefits?

SSI benefits are tied not to a person’s work history but rather to the person’s household income. Although increases in the amount of benefits received can be obtained by decreasing the household’s income. There is a limit to the amount of SSI benefits a particular household will receive: after that limit is reached, any further reduction in household income will not result any increase in benefits.

What Can I Do If My Benefits Are Not Enough?

Speak with the Klok Law Firm LLC’s team of experienced South Carolina Social Security disability attorneys if you believe your disability benefits are not enough for your household to meet your basic living expenses. We can review your benefits, work history, and household income to ensure you are receiving the proper amount of benefits. We can also advise you of the effects returning to work, even on a part-time basis, would have on your benefits and household income. Contact the Klok Law Firm LLC today at (843) 216-8860 for assistance.