Last week, the Social Security Administration made an important announcement of which our Houston readers should be aware. The news will affect those receiving Supplemental Security Income as well as other benefits from Social Security.
The agency announced a COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, of 2 percent for 2018. This means a welcome increase for over 66 million recipients of Social Security benefits, including 8 million who receive SSI-related benefits. SSI, as our frequent readers are aware, supports individuals with disabilities who do not have enough of a work history to be eligible for Social Security Disability, or SSD. They will see their 2 percent COLA adjustment take effect on December 29 of this year.
How does a 2 percent adjustment translate into dollars and cents, and how does it affect the limits and exclusions of SSI? The federal payment standard for individuals will rise from $735 to $750 per month in 2018, and for couples, from $1,103 to $1,125 per month. The resource limits, however, will remain the same: $2,000 for individuals, $3,000 for couples. The student exclusion will see an increase in the monthly limit, from $1,790 to $1,820, and the annual limit will rise from $7,200 up to $7,350 in 2018.
Generally speaking, the 2 percent increase will be welcome news for Houston residents who rely on SSI benefits. SSI can be a vital source of income for residents who do not have a significant work history and who are unable to obtain work due to a disability. Our firm assists disabled individuals with SSI benefits, including appeals of denied SSI claims.
Source: SSA.gov, “Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018,” Oct. 13, 2017