Disability Benefits Recipients to Get More Money in 2018

Q: How much of an increase in their disability benefits can recipients expect?

If you are lucky enough to have been approved after applying for disability benefits, you will be happy to know that more money is coming your way in 2018.

The application process is difficult and time-consuming. To make matters worse, approximately two-thirds of initial disability claims get denied, necessitating an even more lengthy disability application appeal—making your waiting time for benefits approval stretch into many months and even years.

Hiring a skilled Arizona disability benefits attorney from the outset to handle your application can be the difference between your initial application being stronger and more likely to be approved the first time around or it being denied.

If your initial application is denied, hiring a disability appeals attorney is more important than ever to strengthen the chances of approval. Why suffer additional financial and other stress and delay in trying to figure out how to get the benefits you are entitled to?

The federal government offers two different types of disability benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Both require applicants to meet the program’s definition of “disabled”, but the other eligibility requirements are different.

SSDI is a work-based benefit so the applicant’s financial status is irrelevant. It’s available to disabled workers between 18 and 65 years of age who have paid into the Social Security system through payroll income tax deductions for a certain number of years prior to becoming disabled.

SSI is a means-based benefit available only to those who are disabled, blind, or are over 65 years and whose income is below an extremely limited set threshold of $2,000 for an individual/$3,000 for a couple.

Regardless of which benefits you get, you can expect a 2% cost-of-living adjustment (“COLA”) in 2018.

“The 2% increase is the highest since 2012 when retirees got a 3.6% raise. At the start of 2017, recipients saw an increase of just 0.3%. In 2016, there was no increase. Over the summer, the Social Security trustees had projected a 2.2% increase in benefits.” Those receiving Social Security retirement benefits and veteran’s disability benefits will also get the raise.

If you or loved one is applying for or appealing a denial of Social Security disability benefits, the disability attorneys at Roeschke Law can help you at any stage of the process. Contact us for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson, we serve clients throughout Arizona.