How Much Is Disability Social Security Going Up Each Year?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

By law, all federal benefit payments must increase as the cost of living rises. This means that if you’re receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your payments will go up each year as the cost of living increases. However, it can be difficult to predict what that increase will look like, which makes it hard to prepare and plan for the future when you rely on those benefits.

At Disability Advocates Group, our knowledgeable Los Angeles disability attorneys want to help you stay financially stable. That means informing you about Social Security changes and preparing you for annual cost-of-living adjustments.

What Is the Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2024?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that for 2024, Social Security benefit payments would increase by 3.2 percent. This percentage represents the SSA’s annual cost-of-living adjustment. Per federal law, these benefits must increase each year when the cost of living in the U.S. rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.  

Cost-of-living adjustments are typically announced each December and go into effect in January. The Social Security Administration also provides a table allowing benefit recipients and those applying for benefits for the first time to see the change in the monthly amount they can expect due to the cost-of-living adjustment.

The annual cost-of-living adjustments vary from year to year, sometimes substantially. For example, there have been three years since 2000 in which benefit recipients haven’t experienced an increase in their monthly payments. In other instances, the cost-of-living adjustment was 5 percent or more. This happened in both 2022 and 2023, when benefits increased by 5.9 and 8.7 percent, respectively.

Since cost-of-living adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index and so many economic variables are involved, it can be challenging for people to understand how much their disability payments might increase per year. The best approach is to stay informed and look for your cost-of-living adjustment notice from the SSA in your mail at the end of each year. You can also find cost-of-living adjustment information by accessing your personal SSA account online.

Do You Qualify for SSDI or SSI? 

There are significant and distinct differences between the two Social Security benefit programs for disabled individuals. Social Security Disability Insurance is funded by payroll taxes. Those who qualify for SSDI benefits contributed to the fund via FICA Social Security taxes taken out of their paychecks. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have accumulated a specific number of “work credits” with Social Security. You must also be at least 18 years old but under the age of 65 and be unable to work because of a medical condition that’s expected to last at least 12 months or result in your death.

Supplemental Security Income, meanwhile, is a separate program funded by general tax revenue. SSI is a need-based program for disabled individuals with limited income and assets. Payment amounts depend on such factors as your income, living situation, and other factors.

Need Help? An Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney Is Here for You 

Do you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits? At Disability Advocates Group, our compassionate legal team is here to assist you. We can help you understand what benefits you may be eligible to receive, help you apply, and fight to earn the benefits you deserve. 

Contact our experienced Los Angeles disability attorneys today for more information and to set up a free legal consultation.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.