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What Changes Are Coming To Social Security In 2024

Published by GLmanage

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2024 is bringing significant updates to Social Security, especially for those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These changes are crucial for individuals who rely on these benefits for their livelihood.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Increases

  • SSDI Benefits: Starting in January 2024, the average monthly SSDI benefit will increase by $48 due to the COLA. This means the average monthly benefit will rise from $1,489 in 2023 to $1,537 in 2024.
  • SSI Benefits: The maximum federal SSI payment will see an increase from $914 to $943 monthly. For eligible married couples, the payment will go from $1,371 to $1,415.

Adjusted Income Limits

  • SSDI Income Limits: The threshold for earnings will be adjusted. In 2024, SSDI recipients can earn up to $1,550 monthly from employment without affecting their benefits (up from $1,470 in 2023). The limit is higher for blind recipients, who will be able to make $2,590 per month.
  • SSI Income Limits: SSI recipients also face income limits. Any countable income exceeding the set standards could affect their benefits. In 2024, the federal payment standard for single individuals will be $943, and $1,415 for couples.

Trial Work Period

The trial work period allows SSDI beneficiaries to test their ability to work for at least nine months without impacting their benefits. In 2024, the amount that counts towards the trial work period quota will increase to $1,110 (up from $1,050 in 2023).

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on SSDI?

Whether or not you pay taxes on your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits depends on your total income:

  • Individuals: If you file a federal tax return as an individual and your combined income (your adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest + half of your SSDI benefits) is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay taxes on up to 50% of your benefits. If it’s more than $34,000, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable.
  • Couples: If you file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay taxes on up to 50% of your benefits. Over $44,000, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable.

It’s important to note that these income thresholds can change, so it’s advisable to check the latest figures from the IRS or consult with a tax professional for the most current information.

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What About SSI?

This type of social security payment is not taxable. Since SSI is a needs-based program for individuals with limited income and resources, the benefits received under SSI are not subject to federal taxes.

What New SSDI and SSI Claimants Can Expect in 2024

For those planning to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) this year, it’s important to be prepared for the process:

Understanding Wait Times:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) often has long processing times. It’s not uncommon for SSDI and SSI claimants to wait several months for their application to be reviewed. Social Security attorneys, through our professional organization NOSSCR, are working in Washington to reduce SSA wait times and get people their benefits sooner.

Preparing Your Application:

To make your application more likely to be approved, gather the following:

  • Detailed medical records documenting your disability.
  • Statements from treating physicians.
  • Proof of any tax-exempt interest and other income sources.
  • Documentation of your work history and any previous benefits received.

Appealing Denied Claims:

If your initial claim is denied, don’t be discouraged. Many applicants successfully appeal their decision.

The appeals process can involve several stages, including reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, and potentially a federal court review.

How A Disability Lawyer Can Help:

A lawyer experienced in disability claims can significantly improve your chances of approval. They can assist with:

  • Accurately completing application forms to ensure all relevant information is included.
  • Requesting medical records from all of your doctors.
  • Gathering and presenting evidence effectively.
  • Navigating the appeals process if your claim is denied.
  • Understanding tax credits and how your benefits are taxable, if applicable.

Financial Considerations:

Understand that while SSI benefits are not taxable, SSDI benefits may be, depending on your total income.

The maximum social security benefit you can collect will depend on your work history and earnings. Applying for disability benefits can be a complex process, but being well-prepared and informed can make it smoother.

Remember, seeking legal assistance can provide valuable guidance and support, whether you’re just starting your application or navigating the appeals process.

The Law Office of Gerard Lynch

For personalized assistance with your disability claim, reach out to The Law Office of Gerard Lynch. Our experienced team can provide valuable guidance and support as you navigate the changes in Social Security benefits. Contact us for a disability claim consultation to ensure you’re well-prepared for the SSDI and SSI changes coming in 2024.

Client Testimonials

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This case was my first time hiring a lawyer but I am glad that the attorney I chose worked diligently with me to help me get the results I was looking for. I am confident in letting the law offices of Gerard Lynch handle my business when needed, and I will be contacting this office when or is there is another matter that I need handled. I, Alexander Foster, am very satisfied with the outcome of my case. The Law Office of Gerard Lynch and I worked together and we achieved the goal that we were striving for. I am so thankful.

Alexander Foster,
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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be disabled permanently to receive Social Security Disability (SSD)?

No you do not. A claimant needs to be disabled for at least 12 months or have a medical condition that is terminal or expected to lead to death. Sometimes a claimant is not disabled permanently but has a certain time frame in which they are disabled from working. For example, a claimant may get into a car accident, need to have multiple surgeries and is out of work for at least one year. That claimant can receive benefits for the period before he or she returned back to work.

It is possible but rare. In a SSD case, medical records are your evidence and that is the proof you have to show the SSA and an social security judge that you do have a severe medical condition that keeps you from working. If you do not have recent medical records, it is much harder to win a case. There is a possibility, though not common, that your case might be approved simply by going to a consultative exam that SSA sends you to, where a doctor gives you a physical or mental examination.

One benefit of working with our office is that we will look carefully at your case and if you do not have enough or current medical records, we can often give you information about low-income or indigent health services where you can go and get medical treatment for free or greatly reduced cost.

Our law firm, the Law Office of Gerard Lynch, only charges our clients if we win their SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. We charge on a contingency basis, 25% of the backpay, a cap of up to $6000, awarded to a claimant when we win the case. The fees are regulated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If we do not win their case, we do not charge anything no matter how much work we have done. Once a client wins and their monthly checks begin, they will keep 100% of their checks.

Social Security Disability (SSD) comes from FICA taxes that are deducted from paychecks during the work history of a person. Every month that a person works and reports income to the government, taxes are deducted which are paid into social security. When FICA taxes are taken out of paychecks, most of it goes into the social security retirement fund. However, a smaller portion goes into the social security disability fund. People who become disabled over their lifetime and are not yet eligible to get their full age retirement benefits can get benefits from the disability fund. One difference between Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that Social Security Disability (SSD) is like social security retirement – it does not matter how much money a person has or how many assets they have.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a different program for disabled people and it is like a form of welfare. Like food stamps, if you have too much money, assets or property, then you will be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) even if you are clearly disabled. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for people who are either too young to have paid enough into the system or have not worked recently enough to receive Social Security Disability (SSD). The benefits given to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants come from the general US government fund. To receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a claimant has to be equally disabled to a person who receives Social Security Disability (SSD) – the standard for determining disability are the same. The only difference in deciding which claimant receives Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) comes from the amount of money paid into the social security system over one’s lifetime.