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Cost of living adjustment will mean higher benefit in 2020

For the second year in a row, recipients of Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income will receive a slightly larger monthly paycheck starting in 2020. This increase is automatic, since it is already provided for under federal law. Basically, the law sets out a formula under which Social Security benefits automatically increase with the rate of inflation.

The increase, called a cost-of-living adjustment, or "COLA," will be 1.6% for the upcoming year. Last year, the increase was higher, at 2.8%. However, in many recent years, there has been no cost-of-living adjustment at all.

With respect to Supplemental Security Income, the new maximum monthly benefit for a disabled person will be $783 per month beginning in 2020. As of right now, the monthly benefit is $771 a month. For married couples, the benefit moves up to $1,175 per month from $1,157 per month.

As previous posts here have discussed, San Diego residents who are disabled and who are of limited means may obtain Supplemental Security Income benefits, also known as "SSI" benefits. In order to obtain these benefits, applicants will need to show that they do not earn over a certain amount of income and do not own significant property.

However, perhaps most importantly, in order to be eligible to receive SSI benefits California residents will need to demonstrate that they are legally disabled. This will usually require the applicant to submit detailed medical reports documenting the full nature and extent of the condition. Likewise, applicants will need to present evidence that the condition prevents them from being able to find a job for which they would otherwise qualify.

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