GREAT NEWS! | $200 Per Month Boost to Social Security Checks?! (SSI, SSDI)

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon and Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, introduced the Social Security Expansion Act on June 9th. The bill comes after the Social Security Administration announced the fund that pays benefits for millions of Americans could encounter shortfalls as soon as 2035 if nothing is done to undergird the program. Under the terms of the bill, Social Security recipients would receive a monthly check of $200, an annual increase of $2,400. According to CBS News, the average monthly Social Security check is about $1,658, so the change would represent a 12% boost. The bill would boost benefits for the lowest income earners who currently receive about $900 a month through the Special Minimum Benefit program. Under the legislation, it would be adjusted about 125% of the federal poverty line, or about $1,400 a month. In return, the bill would increase payroll taxes for some earners. Currently, earnings above $147,000 aren’t subject to Social Security taxes. The bill would change that to all income above $250,000.

According to lawmakers, more than 93% of households would not see their taxes go up by a penny under the new guidelines. Here's what else to know about the Social Security Expansion Act. Anyone who is a current Social Security recipient or who will turn 62 in 2023, the earliest age at which an individual can claim Social Security, would receive an extra $200 per monthly check. There are some additional tweaks that would boost benefits over the long-term. One of the primary changes would be to base the annual COLA on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (or CPI-E), rather than the current index that the Social Security Administration uses for its calculation, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (or CPI-W). The CPI-E more accurately reflects seniors' spending patterns, according to experts on Social Security. For instance, it puts more weight on health care expenses, which can be considerable for senior citizens. If the CPI-E had been used to index the annual COLA for Social Security, a senior who filed for Social Security benefits over 30 years ago would have received about $14,000 more in retirement than compared with the CPI-W, according to the Senior Citizens League.

The bill would also boost benefits for the lowest income earners in the U.S., who receive benefits under a program called the Special Minimum Benefit. Under the legislation, it would be indexed so that it is equal to about 125% of the federal poverty line, or about $1,400 a month. In 2020, the Special Minimum Benefit paid about $900 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. Some people may not be aware that Social Security provides benefits to children of disabled or deceased workers if they are full-time students. The legislation would raise the eligibility age for students to collect benefits to 22, provided the individual is a full-time student in college or a vocational school. Currently, the program ends for children of disabled or deceased workers when they turn 19 years old or before that age if they are no longer a full-time student. The lawmakers say extending this benefit would help ensure that the children of deceased or disabled parents can continue their education beyond high school.

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