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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Social Security Payments Assume Importance In Absence Of Stimulus Checks: Check The December 2022 Payment Schedule

Inflation has dealt a severe blow to American citizens affected by rising prices that have affected everything from gasoline to groceries. Even the service industry has seen a similar spike in prices. Low and moderate-income households have struggled to make ends meet under such trying circumstances.

With no federal stimulus checks scheduled for 2022, social security payments have assumed importance, especially for households with no other sources of income. Social security payments are vital as it remains the only source of income for many Americans who continue to struggle with the burden of rising prices.

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Managing one’s life as a retiree requires that you keep in touch with the tweaks and adjust your budget according to the changes. But there is much new information to keep track of and it is normal to miss out on minute details, such as when the benefits will be distributed.

This is especially vital considering that stimulus check payments have ended in 2021 and the Social Security payments are the sole source of income for many. Further, the answer provided by the authorities is not exactly clear-cut and varies according to the beneficiary.

A Social Security benefits payments schedule for 2023 can help in any respect. 50% of the elderly population reside in homes where the Social Security benefits make up 50% or more of their income. And 25% of the elderly population depend on such payment for most or all of their earnings.

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Social Security retirement, disability, and survivor benefits will be given on either the 2nd. 3rd or the 4th Wednesday of every month, and will be linked to the birthday of the retiree. Beneficiaries who collected these stimulus checks before May 1997 will have their payments on the third Wednesday of each month.

Starting January next year, around 64 million citizens will receive an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to their Social Security retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Also affected by COLA are the Supplemental Security Income benefits. This will be the largest COLA since 1981. It was 11.2% then, while the largest ever was 14.3% in 1980.

The increase in COLA in 2023 will raise the total average benefit to $1,827 a month for single retirees while for couples it comes to $2,972 a month. The average benefit payment for disability has been increased to $,483 a month. Married disabled workers and having children will get an extra $2,616 per month.

For widows and widowers, the increase works out to $1,704 on an average per month while widowed mothers having two children will get a large amount of $3,520 every month on an average.

Other significant changes in the offing include the increase of the maximum amount of earnings that is subject to Social Security tax. It is $160,200. Also increased is the earning limit for beneficiaries who continue to be employed has been increased to $21,240. The earning limit for beneficiaries has gone up to $56,520 if they have reached the full age for retirement in 2023.

The Social Security Administration has begun distributing the payments for December. You need to work out the timings of the payments. You can expect a letter informing you of the 2023 increase in COLA benefits. The letter will give you details about your benefits rates that have increased in one year.

You can also look up the increase in benefits on the online tool using the My Social Security account. The first increase in benefits will become effective from January.

Residents receiving the Supplemental Security Income will get their first increase after the cost-of-living adjustment by the end of this month.

Determining The Dates For The Social Security Payments

The SSA expends payments on three different Wednesdays every month, which are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Your birthdate will determine which of these three days you will receive the payment. The SSI payments generally come in on the first of every month.

For those whose birthday comes between the first and tenth of the month, the payment will be made on the 2nd Wednesday of that month. And if your birthday comes between the eleventh and twentieth of the month, the payment will be sent out on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. And finally, if the birthday comes between the twenty-first and the thirty-first of this month.

Does Stimulus Check Affect Social Security Payment?

There has been some misconception that the state stimulus check could affect social security payments. But the Social Security Administration has announced the stimulus checks will not be counted as income in determining eligibility or calculating benefit amounts for Supplemental Security Income.

The change was even made retroactive. The SSA restored SSI payments for recipients whose benefits were terminated or reduced for receiving stimulus payments before the rule was clarified and changed by the administration.

But rules could vary in the case of state stimulus checks. For instance, for the California Middle-Class tax rebate Stimulus Check, there has been no mention of the state budget surplus money going to help those who need and could use the money the most.

Residents who do not file any California state taxes could be deprived of the Stimulus Checks. Low-income residents, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance, and Social Security Administration recipients including Supplemental Security Income, VA disability, and State Supplementary Payments beneficiaries have all been excluded from any California State Stimulus money if taxes have not been filed for the previous year.

Such residents were not included in any of the GSS Stimulus Check plans or packages if they did not file any taxes. Gov. Gavin Newsom states that the extra stimulus money would help residents of California who suffered financial difficulties during the pandemic or who were affected by a record increase in prices but SSDI, SSA, SSI, SSP, and VA Disability recipients and low-income residents were not included in any of these GSS plans or packages who did not file any taxes.

Though California is one of the richest states in the nation, all low-income people, which include those who do not pay any state taxes, should not be excluded from any state Stimulus Check packages or plans. 

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