New Jersey residents who receive Social Security Disability Insurance or veterans disability benefits will see a cost-of-living increase in 2021, according to a national benefits selection services company. The increase will occur in January.
SSDI annual cost-of-living adjustment
Illinois-based Allsup reports that SSDI and veterans disability benefits will increase by 1.3% in 2021. SSDI benefits are funded through FICA payroll taxes, which are paid by U.S. employers and workers. In 2020, the average SSDI beneficiary received $1,261 per month. In 2021, the average payment will be bumped up to $1,277 each month, which represents an increase of $16 per month or $192 per year. Meanwhile, the average benefit for disabled workers with a spouse and one or more children will jump from $2,195 per month to $2,224 per month, which represents an increase of $29 per month or $348 each year.
The federal government calculates the annual cost-of-living adjustment using third-quarter data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Analysts determine adjustments by comparing the current year to the prior year. If an increase is approved, it is forwarded to recipients of SSDI, Supplemental Security Income and veterans disability compensation and pension benefits. According to the vice president of Allsup, annual benefits increases are vitally needed to help former workers and other recipients keep pace with the cost of inflation.
Legal aid for SSDI recipients
Individuals who are applying for SSDI benefits may need the help of an attorney. An attorney may help individuals navigate the complicated SSDI application process and ensure that they take advantage of all the benefits they are entitled to. If someone has already applied for benefits and been denied, the attorney might be able to successfully appeal the decision on the individual’s behalf.