If you receive Supplemental Security Income benefits, you have likely noticed that your monthly payment will not go as far as it once did. SSI recipients and recipients of other Social Security benefits are battling high inflation as these Americans attempt to use their benefits to pay for basic living expenses. As you might already know, the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes annual cost-of-living adjustments to benefit amounts. So, how much was the adjustment for 2024, and how much can you expect your SSI check to be now? Keep reading as we give you all the details about your 2024 SSI payments.
Social Security & SSI Payment Amounts For 2024
An eligible individual can expect an SSI payment amount of 943 in 2024. For an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, the amount will rise to $1,415. This is a 3.2% increase from the 2023 benefit amounts. The 3.2% COLA adjustment for 2024 is lower than the previous highs we saw in 2023 and 2022 but is still above the historical averages. The reason for the decline this year vs last year is that the Federal Reserve has aggressively cut key interest rates to help drive down the high inflation and the large jumps in the consumer price index that were prevalent the past few years. You should know, however, that the amounts mentioned above are the maximum amounts that you can receive for SSI benefits. If you have other countable income, then your payment amount may be decreased according to the amount of your other income.
For retirees, they will also see a 3.2% jump in their Social Security payments in 2024. These larger Social Security checks will help offset the increases in the current cost of living. Social Security retirement benefits are calculated based on a worker’s lifetime earnings, but the maximum benefit that an individual can receive at full retirement age in 2024 is $3,822. If that worker waits until age 70 to start their benefits, then this amount will increase to $4,873.
What Beneficiaries Can Expect For 2024
So, when can beneficiaries expect to see their increases for 2024? For SSI recipients, they will begin to receive their increased amount on their December 29, 2023 payment. Social Security retirement beneficiaries will see their COLA increase in their monthly benefit payments in January 2024.
What about the 2024 inflation rate and associated Social Security COLA increase? The Biden administration continues to report high inflation according to the CPI-W, or Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This number is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Inflation has started trending down post the COVID pandemic, the 2025 adjustment is likely to be lower than 2024 as the economy continues to recover. However, there are no estimates about the specific amount of the increase for next year, but it could be on par with the 2024 increase, but most likely slightly lower based on last year’s inflation rate.
Checking Your Eligibility For SSI
If you are disabled, how can you check whether you are eligible for SSI? Thankfully, the eligibility requirements for SSI are not as difficult to meet as those for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. There are some major differences between SSI and SSDI. To qualify for SSDI, Social Security beneficiaries must have a sufficient work history. In most cases, this means that a person must work at least ten years and pay Social Security taxes into the system to be eligible to receive disability payments.
To qualify for SSI, an individual does not need a work history. SSI eligibility does, however, require little or no income income and limited resources. Depending on the situation your income from a job may need to be less than $1,971 per month to qualify. However, the rules explaining what constitutes “countable income” are very complex. In some cases, you might still have SSI benefits payable to you even though your income exceeds the maximum amount of earnings allowed by the program. In that case, your countable income may be subtracted from your SSI payments so that you receive a lower benefit amount.
The Social Security Administration offers a simple SSI eligibility check, but keep in mind this is not an official approval. The best thing to do to determine your eligibility is to create a My Social Security account at SSA.gov and apply for benefits online. The Social Security Administration will process your application and either approve or deny your benefits. If your benefits are denied, then you have the right to appeal that decision. In most cases, applications are denied because the applicant does not have a qualifying disability that prevents them from working. Many people choose to hire an attorney after their initial application is denied to help win their SSI appeal.
The Bottom Line
Social Security recipients can expect their 2024 checks to be slightly larger than the checks they received in 2023. The 2024 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is 3.2%. This means that benefit recipients will see an increase of 3.2% in their payment amounts. For SSI recipients, this means that your checks will be $943 in 2024 for qualified individuals. Retired workers will see the same level of increase in their benefit checks as well. Though things could still change, it appears that the 2025 increase will still be slightly higher than normal as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What month will Social Security increase in 2024?
All Social Security recipients see their increases at the beginning of the year. For SSI recipients, the COLA increase was included on the December 29, 2023 check. It will also be included in all checks going forward in 2024. For other Social Security recipients, the increase will be included with their first January payment. The annual increases are always determined toward the end of the year, and the increased amounts are included in the first check of the new year.
Will these payments be taxable?
Many people wonder whether Social Security benefits are taxable. SSI benefit amounts are not taxable. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must have limited income and resources. By qualifying for these payments, it has already been determined that your income is below the threshold for taxing Social Security benefits. However, if you receive Social Security retirement benefits, a portion of those amounts could be taxable depending on your total income.
If you earn less than $25,000, your Social Security benefits are not taxable. If your total income exceeds $25,000 but is below $34,000, 50% of your retirement benefits may be taxed depending on your filing status. Finally, if your income exceeds $34,000, 85% of your Social Security benefits may taxed depending on your filing status. Remember that income can come from many sources — not just a job. You might receive taxable income from other retirement accounts like an IRA or 401k, and this income may be included in the calculation to determine whether your benefits are taxable.