Social Security has already started sending payments to some beneficiaries. However, the maximum amount for these checks is not so large. In fact, those who receive the first payment of the month can get up to $914. This is for those who are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Although it could be higher for couples, about $1,371, it is still much lower than other Social Security retirement benefits.
What is more, Supplemental Security Income could be even lower for essential persons, about $458. In fact, this July payment was sent in advance on June 30 because July 1 was Saturday. Social Security sends the money on the previous business day to avoid payments on holidays or on the weekend. There has been another payment for some seniors collecting retirement benefits before May 1997 or collecting both SSI and SSA benefits. They usually get it on the third day of the month.
Understanding the Dynamics of Social Security Benefits in July 2023
The maximum check Social Security beneficiaries can receive in July 2023 is $4,555. However, there are very few Americans who can be eligible for such large checks. In order to achieve it, you must have retired at the age of 70. Millions of Americans have opted for retiring before, so they do not qualify. In addition to this age requirement, they must have worked for at least 35 years. But wait because there is one more condition. During those 35 years, you must have earned the benefit base. Bear in mind that the benefit base is really high, about 160,200 in 2023. And Social Security increases that benefit base every year.
According to Social Security, the average check for seniors in retirement is about $1,827 in 2023. Those who have earned the benefit base for 35 years and retire at Full Retirement Age can get up to $3,627.
In fact, that is the maximum amount for someone on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Nevertheless, SSDI beneficiaries receive much less than that. Many people need to apply for SSDI before working for long, so that reduces their check. On average, a person on SSDI could collect about $1,483. Therefore, some of them need to apply for Supplemental Security Income to get additional cash to make ends meet.
Social Security benefits may not be that much, so applying for SNAP is another possibility if you rely on a low income. Payments for those who could get up to $4,555 are on July 12,19 and 26. Those who got their check on July 3 were eligible for a check of up to $4,555.
The SSI benefits may see a lower cost-of-living adjustment in 2024: Will you get less money?
The Social Security has a Cost of Living Adjustment (known as COLA), a standard designed to help recipients keep pace with inflation and maintain the purchasing power of their benefits. It is calculated based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which measures the average price change over time for a basket of goods and services typically consumed by urban workers.
The CPI-W takes into account various factors, including food, housing, transportation, medical care, and other everyday expenses. When the CPI-W increases, Social Security benefits receive an adjustment to match the rise in the cost of living. Conversely, when inflation rates fall, the COLA may be lower, reflecting the reduced impact of rising prices on retirees’ expenses.
The estimate of a 3% COLA, as suggested by The Senior Citizens League, is higher than the previously projected 2.7% increase. Even though with this slight increase, beneficiaries may still face difficulties in managing their finances effectively.