HOW Can Social Security & SSI/SSDI Beneficiaries Claim The Highest Payment in 2022? [Q&A]

Last year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the COLA adjustment showing an increase of 5.9 percent. This huge increase means the maximum money that can be claimed through Social Security is the highest in years. The maximum that can be claimed has risen to $49,497 a year, or $4,124 a month. For the average person receiving the benefit, this means your monthly payment will increase to $1657, an increase over $100 compared to 2021. However, this boost is negated by fast rising inflation in the US. In the last piece of public data, inflation rose by 7 percent compared to a year prior, essentially dwarfing the 5.9 percent increase by the COLA.

Alright guys, first of all, how can beneficiaries make sure they claim the highest Social Security payment possible in 2022? In order to claim the highest amount of social security payment possible, the two main factors taken into consideration are the age of retirement and the 35 years in which the worker earned the most, as an annual average. In 2020, around 74.2 percent of those receiving Social Security benefits were retirees. Now the maximum benefit amount depends on the year that one chooses to retire. Those who chose to retire before 65 are penalized with lower benefits. These are the splits for 2021, depending on age of retirement: $3,895 for someone who files at age 70, $3,148 for someone who files at full retirement age (currently 66 and 2 months), and $2,324 for someone who files at 62.Next question, how exactly is the increase for 2022 affecting monthly benefits?

The COLA increase impacts all aspects of Social Security, not just pensions. For those receiving Social Security disability insurance, the threshold will rise by $40 for non-blind recipients and $70 for blind beneficiaries. This translates to $1,350 and $2,260 per month respectively. Those receiving Trial Work Period benefits could get an extra $30 per month for a total of $970.The Supplemental Support Income (or SSI) federal standard payments will increase to $841 per month for individuals, an increase of $47. And for couples, they could receive an additional $70 per month for a total of $1,261 in 2022. And last but not least, will there be any policy changes in 2022 that provide Social Security beneficiaries with an extra boost in their monthly benefits? So far, none of the bills proposed in 2021 such as the SSI Restoration Act of 2021 or Social Security 2100 Act have so far moved forward.

However, three changes are most definitely happening next year. Number one is your maximum Social Security benefits payouts are increasing slightly, so for workers near the top of the income scale, they will benefit from this. And number two, more of your Social Security is going to be taxed. The amount that is hit with taxes will depend on household income levels. Just 50% of your benefits will be taxed if your income is between $25,000 and $34,000 as an individual. That goes up to $32,000 to $44,000 for a married couple, which is another example of the marriage penalty. As you get more Social Security income, more of your benefits will be taxed. And lastly, for Americans who are still a few years away from entering retirement, meaning those born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age for Social Security has increased to 67. Keep in mind you will still be able to start taking your Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but with reduced monthly payments.

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