The Social Security Disability (SSD) Pay Chart is a list of current maximum monthly benefit amounts available to program recipients. Every year the Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a new SSD benefit pay chart because each year the maximum payment increases to keep up with the cost of living.
If you have questions about your eligibility for SSI or SSDI benefits, or if you want to ensure you are receiving your highest benefit payment possible, Attorney Scott London and London Eligibility can provide you with all the information you need. There’s no substitute for an experienced SSI lawyer or a skilled SSDI law firm.
2021 Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) Benefit Pay Chart
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) benefits pay chart below shows the changes in the maximum SSD benefit payment available under the plan. Social Security Disability benefits are available to qualified workers who suffered either a disabling illness or injury that prevents them from performing what the SSA calls “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. In 2021, the SGA standard is whether a person can earn a minimum amount of $1,310 in monthly income from working. What constitutes an SGA for government purposes is determined each year, increasing annually as the figure is adjusted for inflation. Blind SSDI applicants have a higher SGA ( $2,190 in 2021).
The SSD PAY CHART shows the maximum SSD benefit payment in 2021 which was 1.3 percent higher than in 2020. That 1.3 percent COLA increase was determined by the rate of inflation in 2020.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on COLA for 2022
The coronavirus pandemic that began in 2019 and continued in 2021 devastated the national economy throughout 2020. The closure of most businesses lowered the demand for many products and services. Lower demand meant lower prices. When the national economy opened again in late 2021, consumers returned to restaurants, airlines, hotels, and other businesses whose prices rose sharply due to the rising demand. The resulting inflation in 2021 will set the mark for the COLA increase in benefit payments for 2022. As this article is being written, the estimated 2022 COLA is between 5 percent and 6 percent. The 2022 cost of living allowance will be among the highest in forty years.
2021 Supplemental Security Income Benefit Pay Chart
The SSI program is a needs-based plan that was established to act as a safety net for low-income individuals and families who can’t meet the cost of their basic needs. If someone qualifies for SSI benefits, that person is usually also eligible for other government subsidies that will help support them in addition to the monthly SSI payment. SSI recipients are immediately eligible for Medicaid coverage of healthcare costs. They also may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which was formerly known as food stamps.
The 2021 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefit Pay Chart is shown below. The 2021 figures for all categories of recipients increased from 2020 by 1.3 percent. That was the rate of inflation in 2020 which is the measure of the next year’s cost of living allowance (COLA) increase.
The amount of the annual Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase is determined by the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Economists establish this by tracking the average price consumers pay for certain commonly used goods and services in the current year, and then compare it to the price for those same goods and services the previous year. They typically track the prices of items like gasoline, food, housing, furniture, and medical care.
Most years, the COLA increases SSI and SSDI payments by slightly more than 1 percent. As we noted above, the higher inflation rate in 2021 will result in a much higher COLA increase for SSI and SSDI payments than usual, perhaps as much as 6 percent.
Public agencies in the federal, state, county and local governments offer other programs to help defray the cost of housing, transportation, job training, and education.
Essential Person Benefits (Sunset Approaching)
One of the less known available benefits from SSI is the “essential person” benefit. This is a monthly payment available to a narrowly defined group of people who are in an SSI recipient’s home giving them essential care. But the program is restricted to only those who meet the following criteria:
1). Must have lived with the SSI recipient since 1973
2). Must have been an essential person since 1973
3). Must be a caregiver
4). The essential person must never have been eligible for SSI
5). The essential person must not have been eligible for state assistance in 1973
As you can see by the program’s focus on 1973, few people will qualify for essential person benefits. But some do especially adult children who have continued to live with a disabled parent since 1973 to care for their needs. The essential person benefit is $397 per month.