How To Increase Social Security Disability Payments (7 Ways)

Facing financial hardship? Boost your income while collecting disability benefits. Here are seven easy ways to increase your Social Security Disability payments.

Social Security Disability Payments

Social Security Disability payments are a vital source of income for individuals with disabilities. 

Unfortunately, due to the high cost of living and medical expenses, these payments are often not enough to meet your financial needs.

Fortunately, there are several ways to increase your Social Security Disability payments. 

These seven ways to increase Social Security Disability payments can help you get the financial assistance you need.

This guide explores seven ways to increase your Social Security Disability payments. Read on to learn how you can get the financial support you need. 

Can I Increase My Social Security Disability Benefits?

There are ways you can increase Social Security Disability payments. Depending on your situation, you can earn more money with Cost of Living Adjustments, spousal benefits, survivor benefits, caring for a dependent child, and working past retirement age.

How to Increase Social Security Disability Payments (7 Ways)

Below are seven tried and true ways to increase your Social Security Disability payments. 

Not all situations may not apply to you yet, but some may become applicable in the future.

1. A Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) increases SSDI and SSI payments based on increases in the cost of living.

The SSA uses the Consumer Price Index to determine and adjust the most updated cost of living. The SSA calls these payment increases Cost-of-Living Adjustments or COLA.

You can expect an increase in your Social Security Disability payments each year as the cost of living increases. 

Read our Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart post for the latest COLA increases.

2. A Recalculation of Disability Benefits

Another way to increase your payments is through a recalculation of disability benefits.

A recalculation is when the SSA increases or decreases your benefits due to clerical errors or earnings not credited in your initial computation. However, a recalculation is rare.

3. Work for at Least 35 Years Before Retiring

In addition to meeting the SSAs definition of disability, you must work long enough to qualify for disability benefits. 

Generally, you must work for ten years and earn 40 work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits.

However, working 35 years before retiring may increase your retirement benefits. This is because the SSA bases payment amounts on your highest 35 years of earnings.

If you don’t have 35 years of earnings by the time you apply for retirement benefits, your amount will be lower.

Also ReadHow SSDI Work Credits Affect Your Benefits

4. Wait Until Full Retirement Age to Apply for Disability Benefits

You can receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. 

However, your benefit amount will be higher if you wait until the full retirement age to apply for disability benefits. The current full retirement age is 67.

You can also increase your Social Security payments by working until age 70 or later. This is because you worked past retirement age and earned more credits to increase your benefits payments.

5. Apply for Social Security Spousal Benefits

If you receive disability or retirement benefits, certain family members may also qualify for benefits based on your work. This includes your spouse or divorced spouse.

The spousal benefit can be up to half your benefits, depending on the spouse’s age at retirement. 

However, the SSA will reduce your payments if you file for spousal benefits before full retirement age. You will receive your spouse’s full benefits if you wait until you reach full retirement age to collect payments. 

Also ReadHow SSDI Spouse Benefits Affect Your Benefits

6. Apply for Social Security Survivors Benefits

You may be eligible for Social Security Survivor benefits if a loved one passes away. 

Survivor benefits are monthly payments family members of a deceased worker can receive from the SSA. These payments are available to eligible spouses, children, and dependent parents. 

To qualify for these benefits, you must have worked and paid taxes into Social Security. The payment amount depends on your earnings and work history. The higher your lifetime earnings, the greater the benefits. 

Also ReadWhat Are Survivor Benefits (and How It Works)

7. Hire a Disability Attorney to Review Your SSA Disability Application

Hiring a Disability attorney is one of the best ways to increase your monthly Social Security benefits.

An experienced Disability attorney can review your disability claim, assist you through the process, and advocate on your behalf. 

In fact, a survey by Disability Secrets shows 60% of claimants were approved for benefits compared to 34% of those who didn’t have a lawyer.

Also ReadHow to Find a Good Disability Lawyer (9 Ways) 

Do Social Security Payments Increase If You Keep Working?

A commonly asked question is, do Social Security payments increase if you keep working? The answer is yes. Social Security payments can increase if you keep working. In fact, the longer you continue to work, the more you can earn in Social Security benefits.

The SSA has a formula for calculating Social Security payments. This formula considers your earnings up to 35 years. Higher earnings result in higher Social Security payments. 

In addition, the SSA offers special credits for those who work beyond the age of 62. These credits are known as delayed retirement credits. They can further increase the amount of Social Security payments you receive. 

Can You Earn Income While on Social Security?

It’s possible to earn income while receiving Social Security benefits. However, the amount you can make is limited. 

Individuals receiving Social Security benefits can work and earn up to a certain amount without affecting their Social Security benefits. The SSA sets guidelines for how much you can earn before your benefits are reduced. 

How Much Income Can I Make on Social Security?

If you reach full retirement age in 2023, the annual earnings limit is $56,520. If you’re under full retirement age, the annual earnings limit is $21,240. 

Need Help Getting Disability Benefits? Call Us!

The attorneys at Evans Disability specialize in disability claims. We will champion your case and help you increase your disability payments. Call us today at (855) 503-0101.