ONLY two days remain until Social Security recipients earn their next round of payments on February 15.
The checks equal up to $4,555, with the exact schedule depending on your birth date.
Based on this date, monthly payments go out on the second, third, and fourth Wednesday of the month.
For example, if your birth date is between the first and the 10th, your Social Security payment will be deposited on the second Wednesday of each month.
If your birth date is on the 11th-20th, it will be deposited on the third Wednesday of each month, and if your birth date is on the 21st-31st, it will be deposited on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
In 2023, beneficiaries saw an 8.7 percent COLA raise. This means they can now receive payments worth up to $4,555, with monthly amounts increasing by an average of $140.
Beyond that, several states opted to increase SSI payments as recipients experience record high levels of inflation.
All payments depend on the state but New York offers an extra $87 a month for individuals or $104 for couples. Meanwhile Alabama couples will get a $120 boost.
Follow our COLA live blog for more news and updates…
Social Security credits, explained
To collect Social Security benefits, you must have met the minimum requirement of performing “enough work.”
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “enough work” as earning 40 Social Security credits.
In 2022, an individual will earn one Social Security credit for every $1,510 in covered earnings.
How payment reductions work
The monthly Federal Supplemental Security Income amount is reduced by subtracting monthly countable income, according to the Social Security Administration’s website.
“In the case of an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, the amount payable is further divided equally between the two spouses. Some states supplement SSI benefits,” the site noted.
Full retirement age, continued
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides an online calculator for determining your FRA. They also provide a retirement age chart.
Not only will you receive your full retirement benefit if you wait until your FRA, but if you delay taking your benefit past your FRA, your benefit will increase every year up to age 70.
On the other hand, if you start receiving benefits early, your total benefit is reduced by a small percentage for each month before your FRA.
How to determine your full retirement age
Your FRA (full retirement age), which is sometimes called your normal retirement age, is the age you are eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits.
The year and month you reach your FRA depends on the year you were born.
Prior to 1983, no calculation was needed as the normal retirement age was age 65 across the board.
In 1983, Congress created a law to redefine FRA.
FRA now works on a sliding scale to adjust for the fact that people are living longer and generally healthier lives.
The current FRA increases a few months for each birth year, until hitting 67 for people born in 1960 and later. This change applies to everyone born in and after 1938
What Social Security benefits are based on
The product of the COLA and the benefit amount raises a person’s Social Security retirement payment by about the same amount as the COLA, according to the Social Security Administration.
The accurate calculation, on the other hand, is more difficult.
A primary insurance amount, or PIA, is used to calculate each Social Security payout.
Through a benefit formula, the PIA is directly tied to the principal beneficiary’s wages.
The COLA increases the PIA, with the result being shortened to the next lower dime.
COLA increased in 2023
COLA (cost-of-living-adjustment) is the calculation used to determine how much Social Security beneficiaries receive every year.
This year’s COLA rose to 8.7 percent, meaning checks increased on average between $140 and $1,827.
The maximum benefit rose to $4,555 as well.