With a new year coming up, there will be changes made to Social Security, but let’s note the changes that were made in 2017. A financial review of 2017 has brought change to the benefit payments, ruling for those applying for benefits, and other areas of the Social Security disability program.
SS Disability Changes
It is a requirement that you work a minimum of 20-40 work credits prior to becoming disabled in order to qualify for SSD. This number varies depending on your age. Four credits maximum are earned by workers a year. To earn four credits, Social Security will have to receive at least $5,200 in taxes, which increased from 2016. Here are some other SSD changes that may affect you:
- Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – There was a .3 percent increase in SSDI recipients monthly payment.
- Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) – You cannot have income from a job that surpasses the SGA level if you want to qualify for SSDI. In 2017, non-blind candidates can have an SGA of $1,170 a month, while blind candidates can have $1,950.
- Trial Work Period (TWP) Limit – Under TWP, candidates can attempt to work while still receiving disability benefits. If this is something you are interested in, there is a monthly income that you can’t exceed and any month that you do, will count toward your total TWP. The trial work month in 2016 was $810, while it increased to $840 in 2017.
Supplemental Security Income Changes
Though there was a slight change in COLA, the limit for financial resources for SSI didn’t change:
- Resources restrictions: A candidate can’t exceed $2,000 in financial resources to receive SSI. If you and your partner are both getting benefits, the limit of financial resources combined can’t surpass $3,000
- COLA – Candidates can receive up to $735 a month for COLA with SSI, but if you and your partner both receive SSI, you can’t receive more than $1,103.
Increase in full retirement age
Full retirement age for those who want to receive Social Security has always been 66. It has been 66 for at least a decade to be eligible to receive benefits. The full retirement age and increased in 2017 for qualified beneficiaries.
This change is geared toward those born in 1955, which means those who turned 62 in 2017. The change that was made in the age is an increase of 2 months. Therefore, you have to be 66 years and 2 months to receive the full retirement benefits from Social Security. The importance of this is that if you try and retire any earlier, you will not be able to receive the full benefits. The earlier you retire, the bigger the reduction of retirement benefits you will not receive.