Social Security Benefits to Increase for First Time in Three Years

After receiving no cost-of-living increase (COLA) for two years running, the nation's Social Security recipients, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries, will get a 3.6 percent increase in payments in 2012.

Starting in January 2012, the average monthly Social Security payment for a worker with disabilities will rise from $1,072 to $1,111 a month. The federal SSI payment standard will increase to $698 a month for an individual and $1,048 a month for a couple. The SSI student exclusion limit (the amount of earned income that an SSI beneficiary who regularly attends school may exclude from her SSI benefit calculation) will remain the same at $1,700 a month, with a yearly cap of $6,840.

Although the SSI resource allowance also remains the same at $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple, the amount of money that a person can earn without engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (which triggers a process that can result in the loss of SSDI or SSI benefits) is going to increase to $1,010 a month for a person who is not blind and $1,690 for a person who is blind. The Trial Work Period limit of $720 a month stays the same.

For a complete list of the 2012 Social Security changes, go to:

Article Last Modified: 10/27/2011