New information from the Social Security Administration covers cost-of-living adjustments, benefit rates, and other important numbers.
The Social Security Administration announced they will be a modest 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security and SSI beneficiaries in 2014. This is significantly lower than the 3.6% increase in 2012, and slightly less than the 1.7% increase of last year. The cost-of-living increase is determined by looking at the change in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013.
Here are some other numbers. In order for somebody to be "insured" for disability insurance benefits, they have to earn a certain amount each quarter of a year. For 2013, the minimum earnings to obtain a quarter of coverage is $1160.00 That will go up to and even $1200.00 in 2014.
Another common issue in disability claims is whether or not an applicant is engaged in "substantial gainful activity." In 2013, a person earning less than $1040 per month was not considered to be participating in substantial gainful activity. That figure is going up to $1070 per month in 2014.
Finally, the SSI payment for 2014 will increase from $710 per month to $721 per month.