Social Security benefits are most commonly associated with retirees. However, about 9 million working-age Americans receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In fact, the Social Security Administration estimates that a worker born in 2000 has about a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before she reaches full retirement age of 67.
SSDI beneficiaries receive the same Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) that other beneficiaries receive. That means that in 2023, anyone who receives Social Security disability benefits will see her monthly check increase by 8.7%.
Here’s what the upcoming COLA means for SSDI beneficiaries:
What are the biggest benefits of SSDI in 2023?
The maximum Social Security disability benefit in 2023 is $3,627 per month, $282 more than in 2022. The maximum amount of SSDI benefits in any year is the same as the maximum amount of Social Security benefits at full retirement age and he is 67 years old if born. 1959 onwards. This is because benefits for those subject to Social Security’s strict disability rules are calculated as if the worker had already reached full retirement age.
However, the benefits of the average SSDI are significantly lower. Even factoring in the unusually high COLA in 2023, the average monthly disability benefit would be just $1,483. This is $344 less than the average Social Security retirement benefit of $1,827 per month in 2023.
Social Security treats retired workers as having already reached retirement age, but because Social Security uses average monthly earnings to calculate both types of benefits, disability benefits tend to be lower. Your highest earning years tend to come later in your career. Workers with disabilities tend to miss the most profitable years of work, so SSDI benefits are lower on average .
What if I don’t have enough disability pension?
Surviving on Social Security alone can be difficult, whether you receive SSDI or retirement benefits. If you’re struggling with costs, use benefits.gov to see if you’re eligible for other forms of help. It will take 10-30 minutes to complete the online form. If you qualify for SSDI for 24 months, you also qualify for Medicare.
If you can work part-time, you can work without compromising your benefits, but you can’t engage in what Social Security calls “substantial paid activities.” This means that you will face strict income limits. By 2023, blind people can earn up to $1,470 a month, and blind people can earn up to $2,460 a month. Income in excess of these amounts is not eligible for disability benefits.
However, there are exceptions. Social Security gives the disabled beneficiary a nine-month probationary period during which she can test her ability to work without affecting her benefits. During these nine months, you will receive the full amount of your SSDI regardless of your income. You can use it continuously for 9 months or spread it out over 60 months. Social Security will count as one of your probationary months in 2023 any month with an income of at least $1,050 (if self-employed, a month in which he works 80 hours or more regardless of income).
Given that about two-thirds of initial SSDI applications are rejected, losing profits is a real concern. Many workers with disabilities experience ups and downs with their condition. They may be able to work temporarily or on a limited basis, but their disability may prevent them from holding a full-time job.
Bottom line: If you’re on SSDI and find that the 2023 perks aren’t enough, you have options to make some money if you can get some work done. However, it is essential to follow the complex rules of Social Security. Otherwise, you may jeopardize your disability pension.