Rebecca Cervenak is part of our team of Akron Ohio Disability Attorneys, and she’s here to answer your frequently asked questions. Today, she is tackling the topic of increases in the new year for 2021. Here are the increases by number:

For a full breakdown of those numbers, read her blog below!


Cost-of-Living Adjustments 

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) adjusts monthly benefit amounts based on increases in the cost of living and inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. 

In January 2021, SSDI payments increased by 1.3%. The next COLA increase will be announced in October 2021 and effective in January 2022. 

Similarly, SSI payments were increased by 1.3% bringing the maximum monthly amount for an individual to $794 for an individual, $1,191 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $397 for an essential person.

Substantial Gainful Activity 

SSA uses Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) as a way to determine if you are eligible to receive or continue to receive disability benefits while you are working. The amount of money you receive each month that is considered to qualify for Substantial Gainful Activity is based on the type of disability you have.

In 2021, SGA increased to $1,310 for most beneficiaries and $2,190 for those who are blind. Generally, if you are earning more than your SGA amount, you are not eligible for benefits, although there are exceptions.

Additionally, keep in mind SGA is more than just a number. For instance, volunteer work, criminal activity, and running a small business can all be considered SGA even if you’re not making any money. To understand how this works, it helps to look at when the SSA labels work activity.

Trial Work Period

SSA allows individuals who receive SSDI benefits to test their ability to work through a Trial Work Period (TWP). The amount considered for TWP is different from SGA, although both amounts are adjusted each year. In 2021, any month where a person earns more than $940 is considered in the TWP.

The Warren OH Disability Lawyers at Liner Legal are always ready to answer your questions and help you with your Cleveland OH disability benefits. If you have a question you’d like to see answered, submit it here.