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SSDI and SSI in the news

At our law firm, we represent injured or ill Illinoisans in their applications for or termination from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) (and in workers’ compensation claims). Today we share a sample of current developments in the media related to these two benefit programs from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

SSA announces COLA benefit increase for 2022

The Social Security Administration will increase monthly benefit amounts for recipients of SSDI and SSI by 5.9% beginning in January 2022. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will impact about 70 million recipients. The SSA ties COLA increases to the yearly increase in the Consumer Price Index, a government estimate of the current cost of consumer goods and services.

Annual COLA increases became automatic in 1975.

Illinois SSI recipients may be eligible for a state supplement

SSI, a federal program, provides cash assistance to people who are disabled, blind or elderly with low or no income and limited assets. (SSDI supports disabled people with significant work history.) In Illinois, SSI recipients may be eligible for an additional cash benefit through the Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled Cash program (AABD Cash). The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) administers the AABD Cash program.

State benefit programs like this are often called SSI booster or top-off payments.

U.S. Senate looks at SSI program

In September, the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy held a virtual hearing called “Policy Options for Improving SSI.” The legislators are considering reforms to SSI like increasing asset and monthly income limits, raising the benefit amount, eliminating the marriage penalty, removing some kinds of in-kind support from the list of things received that can reduce benefit amounts and others.

The proposed SSI Restoration Act contains these reforms.

COVID-19 benefits, SSI and SSDI

The SSA answers questions about the interplay between various government benefits related to the COVID-19 era and SSI or SSDI. For example, emergency assistance for COVID-19 from federal, state or local government agencies should normally not impact SSDI or SSI. However, the SSI interactions are more complex.

We will continue to bring readers information about these important programs in this space.

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