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...
Top 10 states in which to live
Some states are better than others – at least according to a study from WalletHub.
The personal finance publication ranked each state in the nation based on affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety.
The following are the top 10 states:
Payments are influenced by COLA
There are three programs run by the Social Security Administration that are impacted by the COLA each year.
In 2022, the average SSI benefit is $621 per month, while the maximum is $841, according to the SSA.
Meanwhile, it’s a little more complex for SSDI.
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.
TSCL’s reaction to Inflation Reduction Act
The legislation, which was passed by the Senate in recent days, cuts almost $300billion worth of drug prices over 10 years.
This will reflect in savings for taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries who have to shell out their share of high prescription drug costs.
Ms Johnson said: “The cancer of unaffordable drug prices is responsible for financial distress, worsening health, and has even killed some older Americans who don’t have enough resources to pay the price of their prescription drugs today.”
She added this legislation is highly supported by TSCL.
CPI remained unchanged for one month
After the long-anticipated consumer prices report for July came in considerably better than expected, stock futures surged and bond rates fell, according to CNBC.
On an annual basis, prices increased by 8.5 percent in July, a slower rate than in June.
Inflation was stable month over a month despite a 4.6 percent global reduction in energy costs and a 7.7 percent drop in gasoline prices.
This lessened the impact of monthly increases in food prices by 1.1 percent and housing expenses by 0.5 percent.
According to economists surveyed by Dow Jones, the headline CPI was projected to rise by 0.2 percent monthly and 8.7 percent annually, the outlet reported.
The so-called core CPI increased 5.9 percent yearly and 0.3 percent monthly when volatile food and energy costs were excluded, beating the corresponding predictions of 6.1 percent and 0.5 percent.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a government program that assists persons who are unable to earn enough money on their own.
Adults with disabilities, children with disabilities, and those aged 65 and over are eligible.
Individuals with sufficient job experience may be eligible for SSI payments in addition to disability or retirement benefits.
Likewise, individuals receive different amounts depending on their other sources of income and where they live.
When were SSI payments established?
Supplemental Security Income payments began in January 1974.
In the 50 states and the District of Columbia, SSI superseded the previous federal-state adult assistance programs.
Each person who qualifies for SSI receives a monthly cash payment based on a statutory federal benefit rate.
Since 1975, these rates have risen by the same amount as OASDI benefit cost-of-living adjustments.
Does everyone get the same SSI?
Not everyone gets the same SSI amount.
You may get more if you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment.
You may get less if you have other income such as wages, pensions, or Social Security benefits.
You may also get less if someone pays your household expenses or if you live with a spouse and he or she has income.
How remarriage affects SSI
If you are getting remarried, your SSI payment amount may change as a result of your new spouse’s income and resources.
If you and your new spouse both get SSI, your payment amount will change from an individual rate to a couple’s rate.
To determine the SSI benefit amount a couple is eligible to receive, their combined countable income is deducted from the federal benefit rate.
The result is then divided equally and paid to the couple in separate checks.
SSI payments on weekends
The only time a payment won’t go out on the first of the month is if it falls on a weekend.
If the first is a Saturday or Sunday, SSI benefits will be sent on the preceding Friday.
For instance, October’s checks will be distributed on September 30 since October 1 is a Saturday.
COLA may increase SNAP benefits
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is based on specific income thresholds.
Once beneficiaries start to increase their income, they could be at risk of losing their benefits.
Households are required to meet certain conditions and resource limits.
A household includes everyone who lives with you, buys, and prepares food together plus resources like cash or money in a bank account.
US employees should expect higher salaries
US labor markets are expected to see higher wages as budgets increase.
A WTW survey found that “salary budgets for US employees are projected to increase in 2023, mainly influenced by a labor market with more open jobs than people to fill them.”
Many US firms are budgeting an average increase of 4.1 percent for next year.
The survey also found that 64 percent of US employers budgeted for higher employee pay raises than they were awarded last year.
Plus, 41 percent have increased their budgets since the original projections.
Nebraska State Troopers negotiate wages
A union representing the Nebraska State Troopers will start negotiations in September over a new labor contract.
The agency is facing high inflation, an increase in training, and a lack of hiring proving to be somewhat of a crisis.
Starting pay for Nebraska state troopers is $51,105 a year, or $24.57 an hour, according to ABC Nebraska.
Missoula city may see COLA increase
Angela Simon, the city’s chief human resources officer, told the Missoula Current that the city hopes to recruit and keep quality employees for an equitable work environment.
“We cannot continue to provide the level of service we provide at the city without retaining staff and recruiting talent to fill positions when they become vacant,” Ms Simon said.
The city is considering a 3.49 percent increase in its personnel budget and $681,000 for a new pay plan for non-union workers and classified staff.
How raised interest rates impact you
Prime rates are decided by individual banks.
Even though the Fed is not involved, most banks will adjust their rates, at least partially, based on the federal funds rate.
Fed raises rates for fourth time
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points in August, bringing rates to 2.5 percent.
This is the fourth hike this year alone as inflation remains at a 40-year high.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hopes to make borrowing more expensive in order to slow consumer and business spending.
SS break-even calculator
The Break-even age is when folks start benefitting from having waited to claim Social Security.
A helpful tool to determine the right age for retirement is by using a Social Security break-even calculator.
This gives you secure access to information based on your earnings history and interactive tools that are specifically tailored to you.
According to the Social Security website, you can view retirement benefit estimates by:
- Choosing a future age to begin receiving retirement benefits in years and months or use the “age” scroll bar
- Choosing a future date to begin receiving retirement benefits
- Entering the average annual income you expect to earn until retirement.
Federal taxes on SS
Although many states do not require you to pay tax on your Social Security benefits – you may have to on the federal level.
This could depend on your provisional income, which includes adjusted gross income (AGI) combined with any non-taxable interest plus half of your Social Security benefits.
If provisional income exceeds $25,000, or $32,000 for married couples, you may be subject to taxes on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
Individuals with a provisional income of more than $34,000 and married couples with more than $44,000 could be subject to paying taxes on up to 85 percent of benefits.
The Savings Penalty Elimination Act, part three
The law states now that maximum federal SSI amounts will increase as the cost-of-living increases, which also applies to Social Security benefits.
The latest increase was in January, as benefits saw a 5.9 percent increase.
The maximum payments are $841 for an eligible individual and $1,261 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse.
An essential person receives $421.
The Savings Penalty Elimination Act, part two
The current limit is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
Republican Senator Rob Portman said: “Rising costs and inflation is hurting all Americans, but especially our nation’s seniors and those with disabilities,
“Yet the Supplemental Security Income program that serves these vulnerable populations hasn’t been updated in decades and punishes them for trying to save responsibly.”
The average current monthly benefit is $585 for individuals and about 60 percent of recipients rely on SSI as their only source of income.
The Savings Penalty Elimination Act
Last month, Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman reintroduced the Savings Penalty Elimination Act as no movement had been made.
It’s since gained even more bipartisan support as the bill would update its rules for asset limits and how much money recipients would be allowed to set aside.
SSI has rigid asset limits that have not been updated since the late 80s.
According to the proposal, individual beneficiaries could be able to have up to $10,000 and couples can have $20,000.
This would give recipients a nice cushion in case of emergencies, without affecting their benefits.
Amendments passed for automatic annual COLA
By the 1950s, amendments were passed to Social Security to ensure benefits would have an automatic annual cost of living adjustment (COLA).
The Social Security Amendments of 1954 launched a disability insurance program, freezing retirement benefits while workers were on disability.
By 1960, President Eisenhower signed a law allowing disabled workers of any age and their dependents to access disability benefits.
At the time, 559,000 people were receiving SSDI.
The average amount was around $80 per month.
NY taxi drivers call for higher wages
Taxi drivers in New York City are calling for wage increases as inflation continues to soar.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance held a virtual Zoom rally urging the city Taxi and Limousine Commission to raise its ride-hailing app drivers’ per-mile and per-minute pay rates, according to Gothamist.
Additionally, they asked to cap their leasing expenses so wages could be increased to $25 an hour after expenses.
For yellow and green cab drivers, the group wants taxi meter rates to be raised to $25 an hour.
US federal firefighters face staffing shortage
US federal firefighters blame low staffing on low wages which are starting to drastically affect their ability to do their job.
Wildfires are becoming increasingly standard and the shortage of skilled labor is now becoming a major problem.
Kelly Ramsey, a former firefighter with the US Forest Service, told Al Jazeera, “the worse fires get and the more short-staffed crews become, the more trauma gets loaded onto firefighters.”
“The work is inherently dangerous, but it’s less safe if crews don’t have the resources they need,” Kelly added.
Some retired Massachusetts employees see COLA
House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to a $54billion budget for next year.
This includes a five percent COLA for retired State Employees and Teachers.
Additionally, a local option provision authorizing the 102 local retirement boards to pay an FY23 COLA from three to five percent.
The increase is not mandatory but allows them to give up to a five percent COLA this year if they so choose.