Why Your Maximum Social Security Benefits Will Increase for 2024 Starting on January 1

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Brief Overview of Social Security Benefits

At least 71 million Americans will be the recipients of a 3.2% rise in their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments in early 2024. This is expected to take effect in early January 2024.

The maximum Federal amounts for monthly SSI benefits in 2024 will be $1,415 for eligible individuals who have an eligible spouse, $943 for eligible individuals, and $472 for essential persons.

The monthly maximum benefit payment for SSDI in 2024 will increase by $195 from 2023. The monthly maximum SSDI benefit check in 2024 will be $3,822 per month (up from $3,627 in 2023) for eligible individuals. Disabled workers will see their average monthly SSDI check increase by $48—from $1,489 (2023) to $1,537 (2024)—starting in January 2024. These increases are to help compensate for the increase in the cost of living that has taken place in recent months.

Maximum Social Security benefit payment checks will increase for 2024 starting on January 1, 2024!

Background to Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

The SSA’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) offers disability benefits recipients a buffer against rising prices. This means disabled people who collect SSDI or SSI will get a 3.2% rise in their monthly benefit checks in 2024. SSDI and SSI are the two types of disability benefit programs—and monthly payments—the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) offers to people who have a serious health condition that makes them unable to continue working.

The COLA follows any consumer price changes throughout the year. Any increases in consumer prices are applied to disability benefit amounts. As of September, over 7.4 million workers were receiving SSDI—constituting approximately 11% of all Social Security benefit recipients. According to the SSA, the average SSDI benefit payment for a disabled worker will increase by $48 per month starting in January—going from $1,489 per month in 2023 to $1,537 per month in 2024—thanks to the 2024 COLA.

Given the fact that disability benefits are available for disabled people who can’t work, SSDI recipients must adhere to the SSA’s income cap for benefits. This income cap is called “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). It exists to make sure that only the people who truly need disability benefits are getting them. As such, SSDI beneficiaries whose earnings exceed the SGA cap may lose their eligibility for SSDI.

The SGA cap is modified every year based on something called the National Average Wage Index. The National Average Wage Index is the SSA’s way of measuring historical trends in wages in the U.S. Almost all SSDI recipients will have the ability to earn money up to a maximum limit of $1,550 per month (up from $1,470 per month in 2023) from working in 2024 without risking their benefits. However, this cap is larger for blind SSDI beneficiaries. Blind SSDI recipients will have the ability to make money up to a maximum cap of $2,590 per month in 2024—a $130 raise from the 2023 cap of $2,460. Typically, SSI benefit checks are sent out by the SSA to ensure their arrival on the first of every month. However, this changes when the first of the month falls on a weekend of federal holidays. As such, SSI recipients can expect to receive their first 2024 COLA-boosted SSI payment on Friday, December 29, 2023, since Monday, January 1, 2024 is a federal holiday.

Further information about the COLA increases can be found on the SSA’s official website. Here is a link to the SSA’s COLA page: https://www.ssa.gov/cola/.

It is this government source that is the most accurate and reliable when requiring information about eligibility and rates for both SSDI and SI benefits for 2024.

Key Factors Driving the Increase

Since 1975, Social Security benefits have been subject to automatic cost of living adjustments linked to price rises so the payments SSDI and SI recipients receive reflect the changes in the cost of goods and services in the current market.

SSA Announcement and Official Information

Disability benefits rise when the cost of living increases. These changes are evaluated and quantified by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). When inflation rises, the CPI-W increases which leads to a cost-of-living increase. This change represents the reality that, on average, prices for services and goods have risen. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) assists in counteracting this increase in costs. As soon as the CPI-W rises the SSA determines how much the annual adjustment should be for the next year.

Ultimately, this change is important because it ensures that people are getting paid enough money to be able to live off of.

Details of the Social Security Benefit Changes in 2024

Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) rises

The SSA has announced that benefit checks will increase 3.2 percent in 2024. This 3.2% adjustment equals out to a $59 increase in monthly benefits for the average retired American worker receiving Social Security as well as those on disability benefits. This increase will begin in January 2024. The average amount for retired workers should increase from $1,848 to $1,907. For a couple with both partners eligible to receive benefits, the payment will increase from $2,939 to $3,033, a rise of $94.

The SSA has linked cost of living adjustments to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) since 1975. More specifically, by comparing the 3rd quarter CPI-W in the present year to the 3rd quarter CPI-W for the previous year, the SSA is able to determine the COLA for the upcoming year. The COLA is subsequently modified by the SSA, taking into account the variation in CPI-W between consecutive years.

3.2% Social Security COLA Increase Goes Into Effect on January 1, 2024

Average benefit for disabled workers and spouses is increasing

The average Social Security benefit will increase in 2024. This will include benefits for people such as the disabled, widowers, and widows. According to the SSA, the average widowed mother with two kids will see an increase from $3,540 (2023) to $3,653 (2024).

Similarly, aged widowers and widows who’re living alone will see their benefits increase from $1,718 (2023) to $1,773 (2024). Finally, the disability benefits of disabled workers who have a spouse and one or more children will increase in 2024 from $2,636 (2023) to $2,720 (2024).

Frequently Asked Questions and Clarifications

1. How much is the increase?

More than 71 million Americans will reap the benefit of both SSI and Social Security benefit payments increasing by 3.2% in early 2024. 3.2% is the yearly COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) for 2024. As the cost of living increases, Federal benefits are also expected to increase (by law). The cost of living is evaluated by the CPI-W.

2. When will I get the increase?

The 2024 COLA increase will take effect for SSDI benefits in January 2024. This increase will take effect for SSI payments on December 29, 2023 because that is the date that SSI recipients will receive their January 2024 payments.

3. When will your notice arrive in the mail?

Throughout the entire month of December, the SSA will send 2024 COLA notices by mail. If you haven’t received yours yet, you can view your COLA notice online via your personal my Social Security account.

4. Who can view their COLA notices online?

Most recipients of disability benefits can view their COLA notices online. COLA notices can be found by visiting the “Message Center” of your my Social Security account if you created your account before November 14, 2023. You can also opt into getting notified about future COLA notices becoming available online via text messages and emails through your my Social Security account portal.

my Social Security is a convenient and secure way for Social Security beneficiaries to receive updates from the SSA (including their COLA notices). Plus, you can save these online messages for later reading in your account. You can also use your account to manage your benefits and much more!

Given the ease and security of the my Social Security account, you may also consider opting out of receiving information from the SSA that’s available online by mail. You can sign up for a my Social Security account online at any time.

Expert Opinions and Economic Context

The economic landscape has shown a rise in inflation which means an increase in the cost of living for everyone from those in well-paid secure jobs to those who are too disabled to work and are forced to rely on disability benefits. To ease the effects of inflation it is a sensible economic move by the Federal government to increase retirement benefits, SSDI and SI payments.


Overall, those people who are either on SSI or SSDI benefits will be able to relax for a while when they take advantage of the disability benefits increases. To take advantage of these unexpected increases you should make sure you stay informed about Social Security changes.

To find out exactly how much money you'll receive each month starting in January 2024, use our Disability Calculator.

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