$914 Social Security payment: Who can claim the monthly check and when is the deadline?

The latest US inflation report showed the pace of rising prices slowing, which is good news for Americans struggling with higher living costs. Fortunately for the approximately 70 million recipients of Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration automatically increases monthly benefits to account for inflation.

In October, a historic adjustment to the cost of living (COLA) increase for 2023 of 8.7% has been announced that will take effect on payments for the upcoming January and all subsequent installments in the year. This increase will also apply to the Supplementary Security Income which benefits more than 5 million adults and children with disabilities or blindness and limited financial resources. Similarly, COLA 2023 will increase the maximum student earned income exclusion amounts. Here is an overview…

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Maximum monthly Supplementary Security Income payments in 2023

Beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will see their first payments with the amounts increased with the January benefit. This payment will be hitting bank accounts December 30, 2022 according to the Social Security Administration payment schedule.

Eligible persons will have a new federal maximum monthly amount $914, an increase of $73 compared to 2022. The maximum amount for eligible couples will go from $110 to $1,371. And essential people can get up to $458 an increase of $37 over last year. The Social Security Administration will send letters to recipients about the COLA increase, but those who wish can check their benefit payment online.

Maximum Student Earned Income Exclusion Amounts

When calculator what a recipient’s monthly SSI benefit will be, the Social Security Administration considers different types of income. Not everyone counts on the amount they receive each month and exclusions for certain incomes are granted.

Only the student earned income exclusion is affected by the annual COLA increase. Exclusion applies to students under the age of 22 who are blind or disabled and who regularly attend school, college or university as well as those who are taking a vocational or technical training course.

The exclusion allows these beneficiaries to have limited income without it being taken into account in their maximum federal monthly amount. In 2023, they may have earnings up to $2,220 per excluded month with a total annual exclusion not to exceed $8,950.

How is the COLA calculated?

Use of detailed formula in federal law the Social Security Administration takes the CPI-W, a broad government measure of inflation, from the third quarter of the fiscal year, in this case July, August and September 2022, and compare it to that of the previous year. Based on figures from the two previous CPI-W reports The Senior Citizens League (SCL), an advocacy group had estimated a COLA increase for 2023 of 8.7 percent.

The official announcement of COLA 2023 came on the same day as the Consumer Price Index for Wage and Urban Employees‌ (CPI-W) for September 2022 which reached 8.5%. The historical COLA of 8.7%, the highest since 1981, came on the back of searing inflation that has finally started to ease, but not enough to cause hardship for households across the country.

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Elaine R. Knight