Belleville, Illinois — Oct. 16, 2017 — Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and veterans disability benefits will receive a 2.0% increase in their monthly benefit in 2018, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of SSDI, veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services. The increase is a result of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which is an automatic calculation applied to Social Security benefits.
“This increase is good news for disability beneficiaries who often must juggle the costs of medical expenses with other living expenses,” said Tricia Blazier, Healthcare and Financial Planning Director at Allsup.
This weekend also introduced the Medicare annual enrollment period, when beneficiaries can examine their costs for next year and make important decisions about health insurance coverage, Blazier explained. The Allsup Medicare Advisor offers Medicare plan selection assistance for beneficiaries including people with disabilities and seniors during annual enrollment, which runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
“It’s important that Social Security disability recipients review their budgets, knowing there is a slight increase, and make sure they factor in other rising costs, including food, utilities and medical expenses, such as Medicare,” Blazier said.
The average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,197 from $1,173, an increase of $24 per month (or $288 per year), according to the Social Security Administration. The COLA is calculated using third-quarter results from data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Typically, a comparison of the current year to the previous year determines if there is an increase.
The increase takes effect for Social Security retirement and SSDI recipients in January 2018. The COLA also is applied to veterans disability compensation and pension benefits, managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Increases have taken place every year since 1975, except for 1983, 2010 and 2011. There was an administrative change in 1983, and consumer prices did not experience typical increases in 2010-11.
SSDI is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program. A portion of FICA taxes that workers pay is set aside for SSDI, as well as Social Security retirement and Medicare. SSDI benefits provide monthly income and access to Medicare after a 24-month waiting period.
Medicare recipients have from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 to make Medicare plan changes for their 2018 healthcare coverage. To speak to an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist, call (866) 521-7655.
Veterans who need assistance can visit our web page and get help with planning a VA disability appeal.
To determine your likelihood of qualifying for SSDI benefits, get started with empower and take our Free SSDI Assessment.