For those receiving Social Security Disability benefits and those intending to apply for them in 2018, October is a month of reckoning. The Social Security Disability Administration often changes the federal regulations around SSD benefits around the middle of the month and whether it is advantageous or not, it represents a change in the laws that people have just begun to understand. Some of the anticipated changes for 2018 are explained below, but it is important to keep in mind that this is just an overview and not to be considered legal advice.
One of the most important changes is that beneficiaries will be getting a raise-the cost of living adjustment will be two percent in 2018, the highest seen in the last six years. In reality, this amounts to an extra $27 dollars a month. But that’s not all-the maximum monthly payment also increased quite a bit-it will increase by $101 a month, to $2788 a month.
On the other end though, are the disadvantages of the changes. First, some people will end up owing a little more in taxes next year-the maximum taxable earnings cap will increase from $127,200 to $128,700 and workers will pay 12.4 percent payroll tax into social security earned income in 2018. Second, the full retirement age is set to rise by two months.
Last, one of the least noticed changes may be the fact that it might become just a bit more difficult to qualify for SSD benefits-the work credit will change. Where in 2017 an individual received a lifetime credit for every $1300 they earned, now they must earn $1320. Without the requisite amount of work credits, one will not qualify for SSD and it is important to know how the upcoming changes will affect one’s eligibility.