Will My Benefit Amount be the Same for the Rest of My Life?

If you receive federal disability or SSI benefits, here’s some info you need to know about how and why your benefit amounts may change.

If you receive federal disability or SSI benefits, here’s some info you need to know about how and why your benefit amounts may change.

No. There are a number of factors that can increase the amount of your federal disability benefits or your SSI benefits or that can make it seem as though your benefits have decreased. The following are just some of the factors that may affect the amount of your benefits:

  • Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs): SSI and SSDI benefits generally increase on an annual basis to account for inflation. This increase is known as the cost-of-living adjustment and will depend on the consumer price index, which is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2014, the COLA has been calculated to be 1.5 percent (meaning that people who receive benefits can expect their benefit amounts to increase by 1.5 percent to account for inflation).
  • Medicare premiums: In some cases, it may seem like your benefits have decreased when the cost of healthcare via Medicare premiums increases faster than the cost-of-living adjustments. This means that, despite the fact that you have received a slightly higher amount of benefits due to the COLA, the increase in Medicare premiums has outpaced the COLA, resulting in you taking home less when all of your health care costs have been paid.
  • Contributions via Social Security taxes: If you are receiving federal disability benefits and are still working on a restricted basis, the amount of your benefits may increase if and when your earnings increase and you are, as a result, paying more Social Security taxes. In the event that your earnings cause the Social Security Administration to deduct your excess earnings from your benefits, your retirement benefits will ultimately reflect this deduction (and this deduction will likely cause the retirement benefits to increase).

Portland Social Security Disability and SSI Lawyer at the Law Firm of Richard A. Sly

If you are living with a disability, have limited income and/or are unable to work due to your medical condition, don’t try to deal with the Social Security Administration on your own. This system is notoriously complicated and bureaucratic, and even the most minor mistake could result in an outright denial of your legitimate claim.

To give yourself the best chances of obtaining a favorable outcome to your case, you will need the help of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the Social Security process to help you secure the federal disability benefits you need and deserve.

For more than 30 years, our Portland Social Security Disability and SSI lawyer Richard A. Sly has been dedicated to helping his clients obtain the maximum possible disability and SSI benefits. While he is effective at building his clients the strongest possible cases so that they have optimal chances of securing benefits the first time they present their case, he also has a proven track record of success when it comes to handling denials or appeals.

Learn More About Your Rights

To discuss your case for free and get your claim started at no upfront cost, call us toll free at 503-224-0436 or email us using the form on the upper right side of this page. We offer free initial consultations, are conveniently located in downtown Portland near public transportation, and serve clients throughout the states of Washington and Oregon.