Social Security Delays – Longest in History

“For the first time in history, more than 1 million people are waiting on the Social Security Administration to process their initial disability claim,” said Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., chair of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, at a hearing last week.

It currently takes 220 days for claims to be decided, on average, which is more than 100 days longer than it did in 2019, Ferguson said. That is also more than 150 days longer than the Social Security Administration’s standard for minimum level of performance, he said.

Social Security Announces 3.2 Percent Benefit Increase for 2024

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans will increase 3.2 percent in 2024, the Social Security Administration announced today. On average, Social Security retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January. More than 66 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) beginning in January 2024. Increased payments to approximately 7.5 million people receiving SSI will begin on December 29, 2023. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $168,600 from $160,200.

Compassionate Allowances Expanded

Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions: 1p36 Deletion Syndrome, Anaplastic Ependymoma, Calciphylaxis, Cholangiocarcinoma, FOXG1 Syndrome, Leber Congenital Amaurosis, Metastatic Endometrial Adenocarcinoma, Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration, Pineoblastoma – Childhood, Primary Omental Cancer, Sarcomatoid Carcinoma of the Lung – Stages II-IV, and Trisomy 9.

The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s medical condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. To date, nearly 900,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy-compliant disability process, which now includes a total of 278 conditions.

When Should I Take My Social Security Retirement

Retirement is not one-size-fits-all. It can mean different things to different people. Perhaps you have not applied for Social Security retirement benefits because you’re still working or are delaying applying so you can get the higher benefit. However, you need to know that if you are age 70 or older, you should go ahead apply now for the benefits you are owed. Your benefits will not increase once you turn 70, even if you still are working and paying Social Security tax.

Social Security Celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women. Social Security provides vital benefits and financial protection for women.

Nearly 55% of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Today, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history.

Women also have longer average life expectancies than men and tend to live more years in retirement. This means women have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. It’s important for women to plan early and wisely for retirement.

Our online booklet, Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know found at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf, provides detailed information about how life events can affect a woman’s Social Security retirement benefits. These events may include marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, self-employment, and other life or career changes.

Social Security Announces 8.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2023

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 8.7 percent in 2023, the Social Security Administration announced today. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January.

The 8.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 65 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2023. Increased payments to more than 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2022.

New Compassionate Allowances

Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions. The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone.

For more information on the 12 new conditions, please visit www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/2022/#8-2022-1

Olivia and Liam Top Social Security’s Charts

Duo Remain America’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2021

Olivia and Liam are America’s most popular baby names in 2021. Liam has been the top choice for new parents for five years in a row, and Olivia has topped the list for three years. Once again, during this unprecedented time, parents chose to stick with familiar names. Out of both Top 10 lists combined, only one name changed, with Theodore replacing Alexander in popularity. The name Theodore joins the Top 10 list for the first time–welcome to the club “Teddy!”

Here are the top 10 boys and girls names for 2021:

Boys Girls
1. Liam 1. Olivia
2. Noah 2. Emma
3. Oliver 3. Charlotte
4. Elijah 4. Amelia
5. James 5. Ava
6. William 6. Sophia
7. Benjamin 7. Isabella
8. Lucas 8. Mia
9. Henry 9. Evelyn
10. Theodore 10. Harper

 

If You Will Be Filing A Tax Return, Do Not Forget To Include Your Benefit Statement With Your Tax Return

Your Benefit Statement is a tax form from Social Security that shows the total amount of Social Security benefits you received in the previous year. It is also referred to as an SSA-1099. You should report the amount of Social Security benefits you received to the Internal Revenue Service on your federal tax return.

The Benefit Statement is not available for people who only receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because SSI payments are not taxed.

If you receive Social Security benefits, SSA mailed your Benefit Statement to the address on file with them. If you did not receive it, or if it was lost, you can get your SSA-1099 instantly online with your personal my Social Security account at:

www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-SSA-1099.html.