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How will the 2024 COLA affect disability benefits?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) |

As we step into the new year, individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance may be curious about the potential impact of the 2024 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment on their benefits.

The COLA is an annual adjustment meant to counteract the effects of inflation, ensuring that Social Security benefits keep pace with the rising cost of living. This adjustment extends to SSDI, offering recipients a potential increase in their monthly payments.

Understanding the 2024 COLA

The 2024 COLA is a lifeline for many SSDI beneficiaries, as it serves to maintain the purchasing power of their fixed income. The adjustment calculation follows the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, reflecting changes in the cost of goods and services. For those reliant on SSDI, this adjustment may bring some relief, albeit modest, to counteract the ever-increasing costs of daily living.

SSDI income limits

It is important to note that while the COLA can provide a welcome increase, it may also have implications for those who engage in work activities. SSDI recipients must adhere to specific income limits to retain their benefits. These limits are substantial gainful activity thresholds. For 2024, the SGA threshold is $1,550 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,590 for blind individuals.

Potential exceeding of SGA gap

The COLA might inadvertently push some individuals closer to or even beyond the SGA threshold. As a result, recipients could find themselves earning income that surpasses what Social Security deems as “substantial gainful activity.” Crossing this threshold jeopardizes SSDI eligibility, potentially leading to a suspension of benefits.

For the millions of people who rely on SSDI benefits, it is important to understand the potential benefits and challenges of the 2024 COLA. This enables recipients to make informed decisions about their financial future.