The Social Security Administration recently posted a November 2022 update on its website, with much of the focus on the 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment that will boost Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments in 2023.
In its update, the SSA said it will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients and representative payees. On average, Social Security benefit payments will increase by more than $140 a month starting in January. About 70 million Americans will get the higher payment.
Recipients who want to know their new benefit payment amount sooner can get their Social Security COLA notices online using the Message Center in their personal my Social Security account. The online information will be available in early December, prior to the arrival of mailed notices. Because Social Security customers can get the COLA notice online or in the mail, the SSA advises against contacting the agency to get the new benefit amount.
As GOBankingRates previously reported, if you have a personal my Social Security account you can opt out of receiving a mailed COLA notice and other paper notices that are available online. You can also opt in to receiving a text or email alert when there is a new message by updating your preferences in the Message Center. Those who don’t have an account yet must create one by Nov. 15 to receive the 2023 COLA notices online.
“Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up in 2023, which will give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room,” Acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said in a statement. “This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in over a decade that Medicare premiums are not rising and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans who count on the benefits they have earned.
Other 2023 changes include an increase in the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax and a change in the retirement earnings test exempt amount. For more information, check the COLA fact sheet, located here, on the Social Security Administration website.
The SSA also announced that the cap on attorney fees in disability claims will rise to $7,200 from $6,000 effective Nov. 30. The last time the attorney fee cap was raised was in 2009. For Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI claimants, the new structure to secure representation in a disability claim is 25% of any past due benefits with a maximum fee of $7.200 (whichever is less), according to HensonFuerst Attorneys, a North Carolina-based law firm.
The fee cap was raised to help Social Security disability representatives combat rising inflation rates and to account for no change in the fee cap over the past 13 years, HensonFuerst said on its website.
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