What Are the Changes to Social Security Disability in 2023?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made some important changes to SSDI in 2023, and our Cincinnati Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help you make sense of them!
In today’s post, we’re covering the changes to Social Security disability and what they might mean for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Taxes Increased to Fund Social Security
The Social Security program is funded primarily by payroll taxes (a.k.a. taxes taken out of a person’s paycheck). SSA takes 6.2% from individuals and their employers each, or 12.4% from workers who are self-employed. However, there’s a limit to how much of a person’s wages are available to be taxed. This is called the “benefit base.”
In 2023, the benefit base increased from $147,000 to $160,200. This increase helps fund higher benefits for Social Security recipients.
Note that this change in taxes has to do with funding Social Security. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, this doesn’t apply to you. It doesn’t affect your monthly benefits.
Higher Benefits for SSDI Recipients
Each year, the SSA determines how much they should raise the benefits offered to disabled workers (if at all). This is called the “COLA,” or “Cost of Living Adjustment.” (We’ve written a previous blog post about how inflation affects Social Security here.)
Because the cost of living increases over time—thanks to inflation—SSDI benefits must also increase over time. After all, if the benefits didn’t increase, the same benefit amount would buy you less and less every year. (Think about how much more eggs cost than they used to, and you’ll understand why the SSA has to increase benefits.)
In the past several years, the COLA from the SSA has been historically high. That’s because we’ve experienced high inflation in the United States. In 2022, the COLA was 5.9 percent. At the time, it was the highest adjustment to benefits in 39 years.
For 2023, the adjustment is 8.7 percent: a new record! The adjustment is high this year because we continue to experience higher-than-normal inflation.
In 2022, the average SSDI payment was $1,364 per month. Thanks to the COLA increase, that amount is now $1,483—an increase of $119 per month and $1,428 per year.
If you already receive Social Security benefits, you should have noticed an increase in your monthly benefits beginning January 1, 2023. If you are thinking of applying for Social Security disability, it’s important to know what to expect!
Income Thresholds Raised for SSDI Recipients
To qualify for SSDI benefits, disabled workers must meet certain medical requirements and work requirements. (Our Cincinnati Social Security disability lawyers have written posts about both of these topics before. Be sure to check them out for more information!)
In addition, SSDI recipients must also meet the income threshold requirement. This requirement prohibits SSDI recipients from making more than a certain amount of money from “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. (Substantial gainful activity is work that involves mental or physical activity that is intended for profit.) If you make more than this amount of money from SGA, the Social Security Administration will stop your benefits.
In 2023, the income threshold was raised.
- If you are blind, the threshold was raised from $2,260 to $2,460 per month.
- If you aren’t blind, the threshold was raised from $1,350 to $1,470 per month
- If you’re participating in the SSA’s Trial Work Period, the threshold increased from $970 to $1,050 per month.
Whether you already receive SSDI benefits or you’re thinking about applying for SSDI, it’s critical to understand these requirements. Make sure you contact a Social Security disability lawyer before starting a new job or even unpaid work—in case it causes you to lose out on benefits!
Need to Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
At Casper & Casper, we’re here for you.
Our Social Security disability lawyers are happy to answer your questions and guide you through the complex SSDI process. We can help—whether you have questions about SSDI, need help applying for benefits, or need to appeal your claim’s decision.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.