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COLA increase 2022 Social Security payment — Beneficiaries should expect HUGE boost in 2023 — how much will you get?

See if you qualify for increased COLA payments
Millions of SSI claimants to get $400 payment boost
How much SSI pay will I get in 2022 per month and per year?

AS inflation is causing major concern in the US due to rising prices, a massive benefit increase for retirees has been projected in 2023.

Next year's COLA is anticipated to be higher than the 5.9 percent for 2022 as a consequence of the spiraling Consumer Price Index (CPI).

According to the Senior Citizens League, the current projected COLA for 2023 is 8.9 percent, which is a whopping three percent more than in 2022.

The average monthly benefit from the COLA is currently $1,657, but this will climb to $1,804 in 2023 if the corrected number is used.

The CPI increased to as high as 8.5 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2022, the highest rise since the period ending December 1981.

Part of the rise in the CPI can be attributed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but it also has to do with the federal government's large-scale spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read our COLA 2022 increase live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Josephine Fuller

    Mitch McConnell on Social Security

    Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell recently spoke about the future of Social Security, in response to a plan proposed by Senator Rick Scott about what the GOP might do if they take control of Congress, according to The Motley Fool.

    He said: “I’ll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor.

    “We will not have as a part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.”

  • Josephine Fuller

    Beneficiaries most and least reliant on SS, continued

    Among the important findings, SmartAsset discovered that residents in cities with low total retirement rely on Social Security the most, GoBankingRates reported.

    Furthermore, in every location studied, Social Security benefits account for more than a quarter of retirement income.

    According to the study, Miami has the lowest percentage of Social Security making up overall retirement income, at 26.90 percent.

    Although several communities in California have high populations of people aged 65 and over, they rely the least on Social Security between 30.1 and 36.6 percent of total retirement income.

  • Josephine Fuller

    Beneficiaries most and least reliant on SS

    SmartAsset, a financial technology firm located in New York City, has evaluated Social Security incomes for the 100 US cities with the largest population of people aged 65 and above.

    This was done to evaluate where Social Security makes up the highest and lowest percentage of total retirement income, according to GoBankingRates.

    The study looked at two variables from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey: average retirement income and average Social Security income.

  • Josephine Fuller

    Calls for more money, continued

    Retired workers will now see, on average, their monthly check increase from $1,565 to $1,657 a month.

    Meanwhile, a typical couple’s benefits will increase by $154 — from $2,599 to $2,753 per month.

    Some are wondering if there will be a $200 increase to the payment, according to Marca. There are no plans in place, yet, to make this a reality.

    If this were to happen, a recipient’s benefit last year would’ve needed to be $3,389. This exceeded the maximum benefit of $3,895.

  • Josephine Fuller

    Social Security recipients calling for $200 extra

    Some Social Security recipients have called for an extra $200 amid fears that the COLA increase will not cover price rises.

    Payments this year are 5.9 percent higher than in 2021 following the largest cost-of-living adjustment in nearly 40 years.

    The increase came into effect on January 1 as inflation continues to reach record highs across the country amid the supply chain crisis.

  • Monthly estimated SS benefit amounts

    According to Marca, the before and after estimates of monthly Social Security benefits are as follows:

    • Aged couple, both receiving benefits – $2,599.00 $2,753.00
    • Aged widow(er) alone – $1,467.00 $1,553.00
    • Disabled workers – $1,282.00 $1,358.00
    • Retired workers – $1,565.00 $1,657.00
    • Disabled worker, spouse, and one or more children – $2,250.00 $2,383.00
    • Widowed mother and two children – $3,009.00 $3,187.0
  • Contacting the SSA, part two

    Automated telephone services include:

    • Requesting a benefit verification letter or replacement tax summary
    • Requesting a replacement Medicare Card or applying for help with Medicare prescription drug costs
    • Getting claim status
    • Finding addresses for local Social Security offices
    • Requesting a form to apply for Social Security cards or make changes
    • Hearing information about SSI, COLA, taxes, payment delivery dates, direct deposit, fraud, and other Social Security services
    • Updating addresses or phone numbers for Social Security benefits

    If you’re deaf or hard of hearing and use TTY equipment, you can call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.

  • Best ways to contact the SSA

    Many Social Security offices have been open only for in-person appointments for critical situations during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Social Security Administration said the best way to reach a representative for help is online at SSA.gov, or by calling 1-800-772-1213 between 8am and 7pm, Monday through Friday.

    Wait times are typically shorter Wednesday through Friday or later in the day, according to the administration.

    Automated telephone services are also available 24 hours a day.

  • SSI back pay, continued

    In general, it takes three to five months to get approval, according to the SSA, meaning most applicants can get back pay.

    Back payments are different than retroactive payments.

    Retroactive payments cover the months before your application date and are not offered for SSI.

  • What is SSI back pay?

    Getting approval for SSI can take months.

    In some cases, you may qualify for payments for the period of time between your application date and the date you were approved.

    If your initial application was denied, and you appealed and were approved, you may have even more incentive to apply for back pay, according to the website of Berger and Green, attorneys at law.

  • Inflation's effects on retirees' pension

    The money that retirees get from their pensions is being eroded by inflation, according to CNBC, and many pension plans provide participants with a cost-of-living adjustment on a regular basis.

    However, these increases are minor in comparison to the 8.5 percent annual inflation rate recorded in March.

    Some pension schemes, particularly business pensions, do not include any COLA.

    As a result, retirees who rely on pension income are losing buying power, but those who rely on other sources of income, such as Social Security, see their benefits maintain up with inflation.

  • Extra $143 in Social Security checks?

    The average Social Security income in 2022 will be $1,657, with the highest payout of $4,194 per month.

    A rise would mean that the average monthly benefit would increase by approximately $143 to $1,800, while the maximum payment would increase by around $373 to $4,567.

    While the estimate isn't considerable compared to last month, it's possible that things may change soon, since the Social Security Administration (SSA) usually publishes the COLA for the next year in the autumn.

  • May Social Security Schedule

    The May Social Security schedule is as follows:

    • If your birth date is on the 1st-10th of the month, your payment is distributed on Wednesday, May 11.
    • If your birth date is on the 11th-20th, your payment is distributed on Wednesday, May 18.
    • If your birth date is on the 21st-31st, your payment is distributed on Wednesday, May 25.
  • Possible 8.3 percent COLA in 2023

    According to April statistics issued on May 11, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, increased 8.3 percent over the previous 12 months, remaining near 40-year highs, per CNBC.

    Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W, which the Social Security Administration uses to compute cost-of-living adjustments each year, climbed by 8.9 percent in the prior year.

    According to The Senior Citizens League, based on April data, this indicates an 8.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 2023.

    This is lower than the group's previous projection of an 8.9% COLA based on March CPI data. The CPI-W had climbed 9.4 percent in the previous year at the time.

  • When did Medicare begin?

    Although Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965, it was not until July 1, 1966, that recipients were permitted to sign up for the program, according to the Social Security Administration.

  • When did Social Security begin?

    Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, according to the Social Security Administration.

    In January 1937, taxes were initially collected, and the first one-time lump-sum payments were paid in the same month.

    In January 1940, regular monthly rewards were established.

  • What changes do recipients need to report, part two

    Other life changes that need to be reported to the Social Security Administration include:

    • change in citizenship or immigration status
    • change in help with living expenses from friends or relatives
    • eligibility for other benefits or payments
    • admission to or discharge from an institution
    • change in school attendance, if you are under age 22
    • change in legal alien status
    • sponsor (or sponsor’s spouse) changes of income, resources, or living arrangement for aliens
    • leaving the US for a full calendar month or for 30  consecutive days or more
    • an unsatisfied felony or arrest warrant for escape from custody, flight to avoid prosecution or confinement, or flight-escape
  • What changes do recipients notify SSA about?

    The federal government requires recipients to report the following changes to the Social Security Administration because they could affect eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and benefit amount:

    • change of address
    • change in living arrangements
    • change in earned and unearned income, including a change in wages or net earnings from self-employment, including your spouse’s income if you are married and living together, and parents’ income if applying for a child
    • change in resources including your spouse’s resources, if you are married and living together, and parents’ resources if applying for a child
    • death of a spouse or anyone in your household
    • change in marital status
  • Monthly estimated SS benefit amounts

    According to Marca, the before and after estimates of monthly Social Security benefits are as follows:

    • Aged couple, both receiving benefits – $2,599.00 $2,753.00
    • Aged widow(er) alone – $1,467.00 $1,553.00
    • Disabled workers – $1,282.00 $1,358.00
    • Retired workers – $1,565.00 $1,657.00
    • Disabled worker, spouse, and one or more children – $2,250.00 $2,383.00
    • Widowed mother and two children – $3,009.00 $3,187.0
  • When your disability worsens, part three

    “There really isn’t a maximum disabled worker benefit amount that corresponds to the maximum retired worker benefit amounts we post on our website,” the SSA previously told The Sun.

    Regardless of how much you’re receiving from either or both programs – your benefits could increase if your disability worsens over time.

    If this happens, this could force you to work fewer hours – thus impacting your earnings – meaning you might be eligible for a higher benefit.

    Also, keep in mind, that you could lose those benefits if your health winds up improving to the point where you are no longer considered disabled.

  • When your disability worsens, part two

    In 2022, the SSI average benefit is $621 per month this year, up by $34 from 2021. This equals $7,452 each year.

    As far as SSDI goes, the amount you receive is a bit more complicated.

    The benefit amount will depend on the age you became disabled, your employment history (including the average amount of income you once earned), and your period of eligibility.

  • When your disability worsens to impact income

    Those with disabilities can claim Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

    To qualify for SSI, individuals can’t have more than $2,000 in assets, while couples can have up to $3,000.

    For SSDI, the monthly earnings limit is $1,350 for most claimants – but that is boosted to $2,260 if a beneficiary is blind.

  • Boosting your SS benefits, continued

    For each month from your full retirement age until age 70 that you postpone filing for benefits, the Social Security Administration increases your eventual benefit by about two-thirds of one percent – a total of eight percent for each year you wait.

    That means retirees who reach full retirement age at 67 but delay claiming until 70 will get an extra 24 percent of their monthly benefit.

    If the average benefit is $1,500, your check could now be reduced to $1,050 if you retire at 62.

    If you wait until 70, that check will be around $1,888, assuming average benefit and eight percent year-over-year accrual beginning at full retirement age.

  • How to boost your SS benefits

    The best way to boost your SS benefits is by holding off on filing until you reach the full retirement age of 70.

    Depending on your benefit amount and at which age you decide to begin distributions, you could almost double the benefits you receive each month.

    Delaying your retirement credits is a financial reward when collecting SS benefits.

  • Does Congress pay into Social Security?

    Senators and members of the House of Representatives, as well as the president and vice president, federal judges, and other federal government officials and workers, are covered by the Social Security program.

    They, like the great majority of Americans, pay Social Security taxes.

    The 1935 Social Security Act exempted “services performed in the employ of the United States Government” from occupations whose workers paid into the system and received benefits, per AARP.

    Senators and representatives were not required to pay Social Security taxes on their congressional salary, but they were required to do so on outside income such as speaking fees.

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