The 2019 Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 2019 Fact Sheet is out and I thought I’d go over some of the new disability-related numbers in today’s blog entry. There are several other non-disability Social Security-related numbers listed in the report for those interested.
How to Qualify for the SSA Disability Program
Over the years I’ve found that many SSA disability benefit applicants believe that they have to be essentially incapacitated in order to qualify for the program.
In actuality, when an individual files for SSA disability benefits they are not claiming they are home-bound or bedridden, just that they cannot engage in what the government calls Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), i.e. essentially work full time, a topic I’ve discussed in a number of previous blog posts.
Changes in SSA Disability Numbers
Per the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) I touched on in an earlier blog entry, the SGA cap in 2019 increased slightly over the previously cited 2018 number, going from $1,180 per month to $1,220 per month. Keep in mind we are talking about people that qualify for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), which are based on what the individual has paid into the system, not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is needs-based and has restrictions on income and property similar to those in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program in Alabama.
For those claimants who are visually impaired according to the criteria contained in the Social Security Act’s listings 2.02 through 2.04, the SGA figures are a bit higher, rising from $1,970 per month in 2018 to $2,040 per month in 2019.
On average, that translates to an average increase in 2019 monthly monetary disability benefits for DIB recipients to approximately $2,130, up from 2018’s $2,072. Once you factor into the equation those who are receiving SSI monthly monetary benefits, the numbers for all disabled individuals average out to approximately $1,234 in 2019 versus $1,200 in 2018. Again, it doesn’t look like that much of an increase but believe me, every little bit counts when you are struggling to make ends meet on a fixed income!
Contact an Attorney for Help Today
If you or your child have been denied SSA disability benefits or suffer from a severe impairment that is expected to last more than twelve months and that prevents you from doing any of your past or other work or is causing developmental delay in your child, please contact our office nearest to you to set up a free consultation appointment to discuss your situation.
James Ezzell is an attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Huntsville, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law. James prides himself in working and winning SSA Disability cases for people truly in need of his help. Read his full bio here.