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IMPORTANT! 2021 Year End Information for ALL Social Security, SSI, & SSDI Beneficiaries!

In just three days' time, on December 30th, the cost-of-living adjustment payments will start to be sent out to the first group of people who qualify for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI benefits. It is estimated that approximately 72 million Americans will receive payments as part of the COLA, which is increasing by 5.9% in 2022, and eight million SSI recipients will see these increased payments begin to arrive on December 30th.


There will also be an increase when it comes to the amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax, as this rises to $147,000. Meanwhile, the earnings limit for workers younger than the full retirement age will rise to $19,560, and for people reaching their full retirement age in 2022, this limit will increase to $51,960. If you are someone who is at the full retirement age or older, there is no limit with regard to your earnings being subject to the Social Security tax. On average, there will be a $92 increase for a retired worker when the 2022 check arrives, as it climbs from $1,565 to $1,657 a month. Then, a typical couple will notice their benefits increase by $154, so they will see a rise from $2,599 to $2,753 per month. The 5.9% COLA increase is also applied for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, with the typical monthly benefit for disabled workers increasing by $76, from $1,282 to $1,358 a month.


In other news, the Social Security Administration has released a new payment calendar that shows you exactly when you can expect to receive your new monthly checks in 2022. The check will be coming on a different day of the month depending on the beneficiaries’ birthday. This payment schedule has been in effect since June 1997.To see your next payment date access your account and go to the “Benefits & Payments” section. The SSA shared this statement on the new schedule: “Any birthdays that fall between the first and the 10th will be paid on the second Wednesday of each month. Those born between the 11th and 20th will be paid on the third Wednesday of the month. And those born between the 21st and 31st will be paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month”. There are some exceptions to the new schedule. Payments will be sent on the third of each month when: You first filed for benefits before May 1997; you are receiving both SSI and Social Security payments; the state pays for your Medicare premiums; and lastly if you live in a foreign country.


Now for those who receive SSI benefits but do not get Social Security payments, their scheduled payment date will be on the first of each month. Millions of Americans on Social Security will soon have more money in their pockets. Retirees will get a 5.9% increase in benefits for 2022. That’s the highest cost-of-living adjustment in nearly 40 years. The increase in benefits is due to inflation. Prices are very high for items such as food and gas, and supply chain issues continue to drive up the cost of goods. The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, as it’s commonly called, amounts to an added $92 a month for the average retired worker.


Now if you haven’t heard already, the Senior Citizen’s League has been pushing Congress to grant immediate one-time $1400 checks to all Social Security beneficiaries. Chairman Rick Delaney wrote a letter to leader of Congress, urging them to grant the checks. The Senior’s Citizen’s League has also since started a petition, which has so far garnered well over a million signatures so far. The reality of the situation is that the likeliness these stimulus checks are granted is low, in large part due to the ongoing negotiations currently going on in the Senate over President Biden’s $3 trillion dollar Infrastructure bill. However, something you should be looking out for is end of year plus-up stimulus checks worth $1400. In fact, the IRS's plus-up stimulus deadline is quickly approaching with less than two weeks before the New Year. The payments are part of the American Rescue Act, signed by President Joe Biden in March.


The act included a provision that has sent $1,400 stimulus checks to tens of millions of Americans. The plus-up payments will be sent out to those who received a stimulus check based on their 2019 tax return or information obtained from the Social Security Administration. To be eligible for the plus-up payment, you must have earned less in 2020 versus 2019. For example, if something changed on your 2020 tax return, like you made less money or added a dependent, you may be eligible for the plus-up payments. This includes elder or disabled relatives or college students who are under the care of individuals. And if you haven't done so already, and this is very key to understand. You must have filed a 2020 tax return to get it. And Americans looking to receive a final stimulus need to act quickly because the IRS has a December 31st deadline for issuing the payments. So there is still time to apply, but you must act quickly.


Americans can check the status of their stimulus check using the IRS Get my Payment Tool. About 500,000 "plus-up" payments have already been issued via direct deposit under Joe Biden's The American Rescue Plan, while the rest were via checks. Now in other news, as many of you are already aware, Social Security and SSI payments are set to increase in 2022 due to the 5.9% cost of living adjustment increase. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. The Social Security Administration will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. But if you want to know your new benefit amount sooner, you can securely obtain your Social Security COLA notice online using the Message Center in your my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. This way, you will you have a way to view the status of your payment information online, prior to receiving your mailed notice.


In this next segment, I wanted to briefly the latest news regarding the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2021. This legislation was sought to increase the benefit rate to at least 100% of the poverty level, eliminate the marriage penalty, allow for individuals to save up for emergencies, among other benefits. Despite this legislation failing to move thus far, it has at least been proposed and is currently under review, with support from Congressmen like Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern, who sits on the subcommittee that will determine its fate. The most effective thing you can do yourself as American citizens is to pledge your own support for the Congressmen and Senators backing this bill. Besides the SSI Restoration Act, we will also discuss the Social Security 2100 Act: A Sacred Trust, which aims to increase Social Security’s modest benefits both across the board and also in long overdue ways. For example, this act adds a caregiver credit, restores student benefits, improves benefits for widows and widowers, and much more. And the way its getting paid for is by requiring the highest paid earners to contribute to Social Security at the same rate as the rest of us. Now although no Republican politician has co-sponsored the expansion legislation, protecting and expanding Social Security has strong bipartisan support among a strong majority of the American people. Large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents overwhelmingly support Social Security expansion.

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