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“How Much Will Social Security Disability Increase in 2023?”

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  October 14, 2022   |  

SSA Announces Major COLA Increase to Social Security Disability Benefits

Every year, the Social Security Administration adjusts the payments received by recipients of retirement and disability benefits to reflect the actual cost of living. This adjustment, called the “Cost of Living Adjustment” or “COLA,” corresponds to the government’s measure of inflation during the preceding year.

Recently, the SSA announced that the COLA to become effective as of the January 2023 benefit payments will be 8.7%. This is the largest single-year increase in decades. Since 2008, the annual increase has ranged from 0.0% (in several years, prices were flat) to 5.9% in 2022, with the average being around 2.5%.

How Much More Will Social Security Disability Recipients Get Due to COLA in 2023?

Social Security Disability Cost of Living Adjustment - In 2023, Social Security disability payments will increase by 8.7% due to a cost of living adjustment (COLA).So, what does this mean in dollar terms for disability recipients? The average Social Security Disability benefit amount is currently (2022) around $1,358/month. An 8.7% increase translates into an additional $118 per month, increasing the total to about $1,476 in 2023.  The maximum benefit (no matter how much you have earned and paid into the system) is currently $3,345/month. An 8.7% increase in that maximum means an additional $291/month for a total benefit of $3,636/month in 2023. These increases will provide the elderly and disabled a HUGE boost in affording their additional costs for life’s necessities.

Is the 2022 SSD COLA Increase Enough to Keep Up with Inflation?

But does this increase in benefits, large as it will be, keep up with actual inflation? This is the problem. The COLA measure is based on price data from the third quarter (July to September) of the prior year. This means that the increase lags the “true” inflation level by about fifteen months. If inflation goes up in the fourth quarter (October through December) of 2022, then the COLA for 2023 does not reflect the actual increased cost of the necessities of life.

So, if these statistics are accurate, recipients of Social Security benefits (both disability and retirement) are losing ground, relative to the true cost of paying for things like rent, clothing, and food. And on the other side of the equation, there are fears that the additional money this COLA will pump into the economy will further fuel inflation in the future, thus perpetuating this troubling cycle.

The bottom line is that folks on fixed incomes will continue to struggle, even with annual increases in their benefits, as long as inflation is a permanent feature of our economy.

Appealing a Social Security Disability Denial? We Can Help

Riddle & Brantley’s North Carolina disability attorneys are ready to help individuals with disability appeal for SSD and SSDI benefits. Call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation case review with our team.

We are ready to help however we can, and it is an honor and a privilege to fight for North Carolinians with disabilities. Call today for a FREE case review — 1-800-525-7111.