Integrating Social Security and Medicare for Cost-Effective Solutions

Social Security Disability, Veterans Disability Beneficiaries to Receive 2 Percent COLA in 2018

Allsup explains importance of cost of living adjustment for SSDI recipients

Belleville, Illinois—Oct. 16, 2017—Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and veterans disability benefits will receive a 2.0 percent increase in their monthly benefit in 2018, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of SSDI, veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services. The increase is a result of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which is an automatic calculation applied to Social Security benefits.

“This increase is good news for disability beneficiaries who often must juggle the costs of medical expenses with other living expenses,” said Tricia Blazier, Healthcare and Financial Planning Director at Allsup.

This weekend also introduced the Medicare annual enrollment period, when beneficiaries can examine their costs for next year and make important decisions about health insurance coverage, Blazier explained. The Allsup Medicare Advisor offers Medicare plan selection assistance for beneficiaries including people with disabilities and seniors during annual enrollment, which runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

“It’s important that Social Security disability recipients review their budgets, knowing there is a slight increase, and make sure they factor in other rising costs, including food, utilities and medical expenses, such as Medicare,” Blazier said.

The average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,197 from $1,173, an increase of $24 per month (or $288 per year), according to the Social Security Administration. The COLA is calculated using third-quarter results from data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Typically, a comparison of the current year to the previous year determines if there is an increase.

The increase takes effect for Social Security retirement and SSDI recipients in January 2018. The COLA also is applied to veterans disability compensation and pension benefits, managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Increases have taken place every year since 1975, except for 1983, 2010 and 2011. There was an administrative change in 1983, and consumer prices did not experience typical increases in 2010-11.

SSDI is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program. A portion of FICA taxes that workers pay is set aside for SSDI, as well as Social Security retirement and Medicare. SSDI benefits provide monthly income and access to Medicare after a 24-month waiting period.

Benefits Help

Medicare recipients have from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 to make Medicare plan changes for their 2018 healthcare coverage. To speak to an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist, call (866) 521-7655 or visit

Veterans who are planning a VA disability appeal can receive assistance by going to

Learn how to apply for disability benefits at


Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, exchange plan and Medicare services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Visit or connect with Allsup at and @Allsup.


Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418, ext. 65065

Tai Venuti
(800) 854-1418, ext. 68573