How Much Will SSI Checks Be In 2022/2023?

It’s been a rough few years and the country is still in recovery mode. War in the Ukraine drove gas prices sky high and the resulting increased cost of transport sent prices in the stores soaring like an Arizona thermometer in the middle of summer.

The government is trying to keep pace with the increased cost of living when it comes to its benefits programs but fell short in 2022. You may be wondering how they will fare in 2023 so in this post we will look at the program (SSI) and see how much it may increase after cost of living adjustments (COLA).

What Is SSI?

The Supplemental Security Income program provides cash payments to disabled adults, disabled children and individuals over 65 and are on a low income. Those who are living below or within 135% of the federal poverty limit may qualify for this government program.

Individuals or their helpers may apply for this program by completing a simple form and proving that they meet the income requirements.

History of SSI

The SSI program has its roots in the creation of the Social Security system way back in 1935. As the years passed each state started to develop offshoot programs from the Social Security to help their residents with disabilities.

It was during the Nixon administration in 1972 when an amendment to the Social Security Administration was made to draw together these state sanctioned programs and absorb them into the Supplemental Security Income program..

The Social Security Administration was chosen to head up the SSI because it already had control of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Many of the individuals who would qualify for the SSI program would not be eligible for SSDI.

Initially the general SSI benefit payment was in line with that of a retired worker. In August of 1974 congress determined that the SSI payments should increase at the same rate as retirement payments. As such each year a new determination is made as to how much the payments should increase based on cost of living expenses.

How much Are SSI Payments for 2022?

Those receiving SSI payments at present will have noticed that since December 30th 2021 their SSI payments have increased to a maximum of $841 for an individual and to $1,261 if they have a qualifying spouse. This was an increase of 5.9% from the previous year.

This 5.9% cost of living adjustment (COLA) was the highest Social Security increase that has happened in several years. It was in response to soaring inflation rates and the overall increase in the prices in stores. It is important to note that actual payment amounts depend on individual circumstances and not everyone receives the maximum payouts listed earlier.

As mentioned SSI payment increases keep pace with those of retirees so they too will have seen a 5.9% increase in their monthly payments. Even with this historically higher increase in COLA however people are still struggling.

What Will The COLA Increase Be in 2023?

It is a little too early to say what the exact cost of living adjustment will be for 2023 as it is due to be announced in the Fall of 2022. The Senior Citizens League however believes that it could be as high as 10.5%.

This estimation is for retirees but as mentioned the SSI should increase by the same percentage. If this estimate is correct it would be one of the biggest increases to Social Security benefits in quite some time. With inflation continuing to rise such an increase will likely be needed to keep those on benefits above water.

Qualifying for SSI

As we have already mentioned when the SSI program was created it essentially helped all those who would not qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance scheme. This means that generally speaking it is far easier to qualify for SSI payments.

Those with qualifying disabilities and or their carers, who can prove they are on a low income may well be eligible for this program. Unlike SSDI you do not need a significant work history and have paid significantly into Social Security tax.

To qualify for SSDI the individual would have to have at least ten years of taxable income to be eligible for disability insurance payments. Those looking to qualify for SSI need no such work record. They simply need to be unable to work due to disability and fall within the federal poverty guidelines.

You do have to prove your low income status as this is a program that has been abused in the past. You might still get SSI even if you earn over the income requirements as the difference will be subtracted from the payment you receive.

All applications are taken on a case by case basis so there is no guarantee you will be accepted for this benefit. The only way to be sure is to make an application and submit all the relevant documents to prove your case.

When Will the 2023 SSI Increase Be Announced?

The exact date as of August 2022 is unknown when it comes to 2023’s potential COLA increase of SSI. It will be during the Fall so there is not too much longer to wait. Once announced any changes will likely take effect in late December of 2022.

Conclusion

In 2022 there was an increase of 5.9% in the cost of living adjustment for both Supplemental Security income and retirement benefits. This was a significant increase and was done in response to increasing inflation issues.

The COLA increase for 2023 has not yet been confirmed but major retirement groups estimate it could be as high as 10.5%. This is what is expected for pension benefits and the SSI increases at the same levels.

Reference SSA Locator

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  • "". SSA Locator. Accessed on October 4, 2022. https://ssalocator.com/blog/how-much-will-ssi-checks-be-in-2022-2023/.

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