Next year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not be applying a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to federal disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, according to a recent SSA announcement.
That’s because the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has not increased from last year (specifically, from the 3rd quarter of 2014 to the 3rd quarter of 2015).
The CPI reflects, among other things, the rate of inflation in the U.S., and the law provides for a COLA whenever the CPI indicates a growth in inflation. Given the flat CPI for this past year, “under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2016,” as the SSA has explained.
A Glance at What Will & Won’t Change with SSDI & SSI in 2016
While there will be no COLA for the coming year, the following provides an overview of some changes that will (and will not) also be occurring next year:
- The Social Security tax rate & maximum taxable earnings – These will remain unchanged from what they were in 2015, staying at 7.65% for employees (and 15.30% for self-employed individuals) while the maximum taxable earnings will remain at $118,500.
- The disability earnings threshold – This threshold will slightly increase in 2016 for non-blind individuals performing substantial gainful activity (SGA), jumping up from $1,090/mo. in 2015 to $1,130/mo. in 2016. For blind individuals, the threshold for SGA will remain at $1,820/mo. In terms of earning thresholds for trial work periods, the maximum allowable earnings that will not result in the termination of benefits will jump from $780/mo. to $810/mo.
- The maximum amount of Social Security benefits (per month) – This is one of the few areas that will see a decrease in 2016, with the maximum benefits dropping form $2,660/mo. in 2015 to $2,630 in 2016).
- The SSI payment standards and resource limits –All of these standards and limits will reportedly remain unchanged in 2016, with the SSI payment standards for individuals and couples remaining at $733/mo. and $1,100/mo. (respectively) and the resource limits remaining at $2,000 and $3,000 for individual and couples (respectively).
Contact a St Louis Disability Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you are living with a physical and/or mental impairment that prevents you from being able to learn a living, contact a St Louis disability lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law. We have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of injured and disabled individuals, helping them navigate the complexities of the legal system so they can secure the benefits to which they are entitled.
Learn more about how we can help you by attending a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. You can schedule this meeting by calling us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.