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Social Security announces COLA for benefit recipients

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced changes in the benefit amounts for recipients of Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It also raised the earnings thresholds for people receiving benefits. These changes, which incorporate a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 1.7 percent, will take place beginning on January 1, 2013. This is a decrease from the COLA that went into effect on January 1, 2012. Before that date, there had been no increase in three years.

SSD recipients will see an average increase of around $20 per month, slightly less for single workers and slightly more for workers with children or spouses. SSI recipients will see an increase of $18 per month for couples and $12 for individuals.

The earnings threshold for SSD recipients will be raised to $1,040 per month for individuals, $1,740 per month for the blind, and $750 per month for those recipients doing a trial of work. Disability benefits will decrease when recipients earn more than these amounts.

The resources thresholds for SSI recipients will not increase - they will remain at $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. Additionally, the tax rate for workers paying into the Social Security system will remain the same (although there has been a temporary reduction that remains in place until the end of 2012). Whether that temporary reduction will be extended into 2013 is unknown.

If you believe that you are not receiving the maximum disability benefit to which you're entitled, or if you are hoping to apply for SSD or SSI benefits, do what thousands of others have done. Get help from an attorney or from an advocate like those at Binder & Binder®, America's Most Successful Social Security Disability Advocates.

Source: US News, "Social Security COLA to Rise 1.7% in 2013," Oct. 16, 2012.

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