New Social Security Disability COLA Increase for 2012

On January 1, 2012, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits will increase 3.6%, the first increase since 2009. In addition to increasing monthly payment amounts and maximum monthly payment amounts, this increase affects several Social Security thresholds for eligibility and for continuing to receive benefits during a trial work period.

SSI Payments. The SSI federal monthly payment, before deductions for income or additions for state supplementary payments, is $698 per month for an individual and $1,048 for a couple.

Learn more about SSI payments.

SGA Threshold. The new limit for substantial gainful activity, or SGA (the amount you can make per month and still receive disability), is $1,010 per month for a non-blind disabled person and $1,690 per month for a blind person.

Learn more about SGA.

Trial Work Period. During a trial work period, any month you make more than $720 in gross wages will count as a month in your nine-month trial work period.

Student Income Exclusion. The new amount that students under age 22 can exclude from income, for the purpose of qualifying for SSI, is $1,700 per month.

Average Disability Payment. The average Social Security disability payment to a disabled worker is anticipated to be $1,111 in 2012; a disabled worker with a spouse and one child is expected to receive an average of $1,892.

Learn more about Social Security disability payments.