Social Security 2024 COLA: How SSDI and SSI Are Changing in 2024
October 12, 2023 · 4 min read
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Each year the Social Security Administration (SSA) increases the value of its benefits based on how much inflation and other factors have increased the cost of living. This cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will mean higher benefits and higher income limits for everyone who already receives SSDI, SSI, Social Security retirement benefits, early retirement benefits, and VA disability benefits. The 2024 COLA is 3.2% and according to the SSA, it will increase average retirement benefits by more than $50.
How much is the 2024 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment?
The 2024 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is 3.2%. The COLA increase means your SSDI, SSI, or Social Security retirement benefits will be 3.2% higher in 2024. This is an automatic update and you don’t need to do anything to get it.
Spouses and children who receive retirement or SSDI family benefits could also see their checks increase by 3.2%.
For 2024, veterans disability benefits will also increase by 3.2% based on the Social Security COLA.
How do I find my 2024 benefit amount?
You can find your exact COLA amount and the value of your 2024 disability benefits by logging into your my Social Security account in December 2023. The SSA will also mail you a letter that lists your 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (unless you already opted out of physical mail updates).
For 2024, the limit for substantial gainful activity (SGA) is increasing to $1,550 per month (up from $1,470 in 2023). Blind disability recipients have a 2024 SGA of $2,590 per month (up from $2,460 in 2023).
The higher limits mean that you can earn more during the year without losing your benefits. However, earning close to the limit could catch the attention of the SSA, even if you’re below the legal SGA limit.
The SSDI COLA for 2024 means that the maximum possible SSDI benefit is rising to $3,822 per month in 2024. That’s up from the 2023 maximum of $3,627 per month.
The new maximum SSDI check won’t affect anyone who is already getting benefits. For people who are in the process of applying, you could qualify for a higher benefit in 2024 than you could have in 2023. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until 2024 if you’re thinking about applying. If your income is high enough to qualify for the maximum benefit in 2023, that means you’ll automatically get the maximum benefit amount for 2024 as well.
After the cost-of-living adjustment, the maximum SSI benefit for 2024 is $943 per month for an individual and $1,415 per month for a couple. Those are both up from 2023 when the maximum benefit was $914 for individuals and $1,371 for couples.
Even though the maximum benefit is increasing, the resource limit to qualify for SSI isn’t changing. Individuals applying for SSI can only have resources worth up to $2,000 and couples can only have up to $3,000 in resources for both 2023 and 2024.
Higher work credit limits for 2024
SSDI applicants must earn a certain number of work credits to be technically eligible for benefits. Earning a credit means having a certain amount of income that you paid taxes on.
To earn one work credit in 2024, you will need to earn and pay taxes on $1,730 of income, including self-employment and gig work income.
You can get up to four work credits per year. To earn the maximum you would need to have at least $6,920 of income that you paid taxes on. Earning more in a year won’t get you more work credits, but it could qualify you for higher monthly SSDI benefits. (Read more on how SSDI benefits are calculated.)
How the new work credit amounts will affect you
The higher work credit amounts will mean you need to earn more in order to qualify for SSDI. Qualifying for SSDI requires you to have at least 40 credits (10 years of work), with at least 20 of those credits earned within the last 10 calendar years. A good rule of thumb is that someone who has worked for at least five of the past 10 years is likely to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Is this is same as the 2024 VA disability COLA?
VA disability benefits will increase by 3.2% in 2024 because of the Social Security COLA. This change is automatic and your payment schedule won't change.
Even though the SSA doesn't administer VA benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs started using the Social Security COLA amount after President Biden signed the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023.
If you currently get VA disability benefits at the same time as either SSDI or SSI, each of your benefits will automatically increase by 3.2% starting in 2024.
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Frequently asked questions: 2024 Social Security COLA
What is the Social Security disability COLA for 2024?
The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is an annual increase in payment amounts to keep up with inflation. The 2024 COLA is 3.2% for SSDI and SSI recipients.
The limit for income from substantial gainful activity (SGA) is increasing 3.2% for 2024, meaning you can earn up to $1,550 per month without losing benefits ($2,590 per month if you're blind).
How much is SSDI going up in 2024?
SSDI benefits payments are increasing 3.2% for 2024, meaning all SSDI recipients will automatically get a monthly check worth 3.2% more than in 2023.
How much higher will SSI checks be in 2024?
Monthly SSI benefits are also increasing 3.2% from 2023 to 2024. This SSI increase is automatic and you don’t need to do anything to get it.
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Sarah is an attorney at Atticus Law, P.C. Prior to joining Atticus, she was a civil public defender in Brooklyn, NY and a business reporter in Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.
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