THE last round of September Social Security checks are dropping next week, and recipients can expect to see up to $4,194.
The Social Security Administration sends out three payments every month.
Recipients receive their benefits depending on when their birthday lands.
Those born before the 20th have already received their September Social Security checks and anyone born after the 21st can expect theirs on September 28.
Those who also receive Social Security Disability Insurance can expect their payments on the same schedule.
Read our COLA blog for more news and updates...
Changes that can affect benefits: criminal conviction
Your Social Security benefits will be suspended if you’re convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to jail or prison for more than 30 continuous days.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are generally not payable for the months you are imprisoned.
However, once you are released, the SSA will reinstate your benefits starting with the month following the month of your release.
Changes that can affect benefits: pension
The government pension offset (GPO) affects spouses, widows, and widowers with pensions from a federal, state, or local government job.
It reduces Social Security benefits in some cases.
If you receive a pension from a government job but did not pay Social Security taxes while you had the job, the SSA will reduce your Social Security spouse, widow, or widower benefits by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension.
Changes that can affect benefits: recipient death
If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death and any later months.
For instance, if the person died in September, you must return the benefits paid in October.
Four changes every year
There are at least four changes that occur every year when it comes to Social Security:
- Cost-of-living adjustments
- Earnings test limit
- The value of a work credit
- Social Security tax limit
Lowe’s offers $55million for workers
To offset inflation, the home improvement company Lowe’s will now offer $55million in bonuses to its hourly workers.
Lowe’s CEO Martin R. Ellison announced in an earnings call, “In recognition of some of the cost pressures they are facing due to high inflation, we are providing an incremental $55 million in bonuses to our hourly frontline associates this quarter.”
The number of employees receiving the bonuses was not announced although the employs approximately 300,000 associates, according to the company’s website.
Women hit hardest by cost of living increase
The Forum projects that it will take 132 years for the world to reach gender parity, which they say means equality in salaries and economic opportunity, education, health, and political empowerment.
The managing director of the forum, Saadia Zahidi, said the COLA disparity comes after women left the job market during the pandemic to care for kids and the elderly.
“In face of a weak recovery, government and business must make two sets of efforts: targeted policies to support women’s return to the workforce and women’s talent development in the industries of the future,” she said.
“Otherwise, we risk eroding the gains of the last decades permanently and losing out on the future economic returns of diversity.”
Adena Health System raises wages
In an effort to combat inflation, Adena Health System caregivers will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The Ohio workers will see an almost $6 boost as the minimum wage is $9.30 per hour.
These wage adjustments won’t impact the cost of health care, according to Adena.
No ‘bonus payment’ in September
Although there will be two Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments sent out in September, it’s important to know this isn’t a bonus payment.
Two payments are getting sent out in the same month since October 1 lands on a Saturday.
The second payment of the month is actually just an early October payment.
How much to save for retirement
The Motley Fool recommends using the 80 percent rule for saving for retirement.
The goal is to have at least 80 percent of your annual income in retirement to maintain your current lifestyle.
For example, if you make $50,000 a year you should have $40,000 saved up.
What is a chained CPI?
The Consumer Price Index measures increases in prices which is ultimately used to determine the COLA.
A chained CPI measures consumer spending as opposed to the actual prices, according to the Senior Citizens League.
For example if the price of turkey goes up, the chained CPI assumes consumers will switch to a lower cost meat like chicken.
Chaining the CPI would result in cuts to Social Security and could reduce spending on benefits by $112billion over 10 years, according to The Congressional Budget Office.
Old-Age, survivors and disability insurance program, part two
The children of beneficiaries may qualify for benefits if they’re 18 and older and a student at an elementary or secondary school.
Those who qualify for student benefits must meet the following requirements:
- Must attend an educational institution full-time (at least 20 hours per week)
- Must be 19 years-old and two months or younger
- Student benefits will end either the month after the student stops attending school full-time or when the student is over the age requirement – whichever is sooner
To apply, complete and sign Form SSA-1372-BK.
Old-Age, survivors and disability insurance program
The SSA provides financial aid to those in retirement, have a disability, and also offers financial relief to widowers.
However, children may also receive benefits through the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program.
The program provides monthly benefits to qualified retired and disabled workers, including their dependents or survivors of the insured workers.
Eligibility and benefit amounts are determined by the worker’s contributions to Social Security.
Additional help for recipients
The Social Security Administration is informing recipients about help available for homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic.
Financial help can affect eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or monthly SSI amounts.
However, emergency financial assistance received from the following programs and funds will not count against a recipient’s eligibility or payment amount, according to the Social Security Administration:
- Emergency Rental Assistance Fund
- Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing/Rural Rental Assistance
- Homeowner Assistance Fund
- Housing Assistance and Supportive Services Programs for Native Americans
CareArc employees receive COLA
Nationwide employees from CareArc will receive an increase in compensation to offset inflation.
KVOE reported that during the CareArc Board of Directors meeting, CareArc Executive Director Renee Hively announced that the increase “it is not a raise” but instead is a cost of living adjustment increase.
The exact percentage has yet to be announced but comes at a time when qualified nursing and other staff positions are at an all-time high.
Texas officials to receive COLA, continued
The salary increase will help the county ensure competitive pay for new hires.
It will also impact the salaries of elected officials unless otherwise defined by code, but won’t impact the salaries of current employees unless they are below the new minimums of their pay grades, according to Community Impact.
The new positions will be funded at eight percent over the base and the COLA for retirees will be two percent.
The estimated fiscal impact is roughly $111,000 and the two percent for retirees is nearly $4million total.
Texas officials to receive COLA
The Williamson County Commissioner’s Court approved a five percent cost of living raise for employees and elected officials for next year’s fiscal budget.
A report from Rebecca Clemons, senior director of human resources, revealed why salaries as well as inflation and are needed.
The cost of living adjustment is based on a 2022 study in Dallas and the Houston area.
Yellen’s plan to fix the IRS, conclusion
Her last suggestion seems like the simplest; hire more employees.
She expressed a goal to hire enough people to replace the 50,000 IRS workers who are expected to retire over the next five years.
Since 2012, there’s been a 12.9 percent decrease in the amount of IRS employees. In the 2021 fiscal year, the IRS had 78,661 employees.
Yellen’s plan to fix the IRS, part three
To further help customer service and the agency as a whole, Yellen proposed using some of the funding for a total overhaul of outdated technology.
Her memo described current tech being used at the IRS as “decades out of date.
In fact, the two programs the IRS uses to keep track of individual and business taxes are the oldest major technology systems still used in the Federal Government.
Yellen’s plan to fix the IRS, continued
Yellen also pushed to improve customer service.
Shockingly, the IRS only answered 11 percent of phone calls during the 2021 fiscal year.
However, they’ve already started working on this issue by introducing new technology.
Yellen’s plan to fix the IRS
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen voiced her top four priorities for $80billion in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Yellen is asking the IRS to deliver a plan in six months about how they’ll use the funding, according to CNBC.
Her first suggestion was to use the money to erase the backlog of millions of unprocessed tax returns.
Social Security changes for 2023, part three
This could be good news for high-earners who are ready to retire.
If you are a high earner over a long period, you are on track for a larger monthly benefit.
For example, the maximum monthly benefit at full retirement (when you receive 100 percent of Social Security benefits) is $3,345 in 2022.
With inflation hitting a more than 40-year high, it is probable those top-tier payouts will see a rise.
Social Security changes for 2023, continued
The National Average Wage Index is expected to boost the maximum taxable earning cap.
This change will affect about six percent of the labor force, per the Motley Fool.
Currently, 94 percent of the US labor force earns less than $147,000 and pays into Social Security on every dollar.
Six percent of workers who earn more than that are exempt from payroll tax.
This means high-income earners will see more of their maximum taxable wages cap rise.
Social Security changes for 2023
Next year’s benefits increase “will be one of the highest COLAs ever paid in the history of the program,” Mary Johnson, a policy analyst at the nonprofit Senior Citizens League, told the Detroit Free Press.
The League had previously predicted COLA could be adjusted upwards to in excess of 11 percent, which would have been the largest increase since 1982.
However, since COLA boosts are meant to help beneficiaries retain their buying power, a chunk of the funds will go to combating rising prices.
Ways to increase your monthly SS benefit
You can start claiming from the age of 62, but it’s often beneficial to delay your claim.
Below’s how much extra someone can get if their full retirement age is 66.
- At age 66, you get 100 percent of your monthly benefit
- At age 67, you get 108 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 12 months
- At age 70, you get 132 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 48 months
When you reach age 70, your monthly benefit stops increasing even if you continue to delay collecting Social Security.