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Social Security Updates in 2020

4 Major Changes for Social Security to Be Aware Of

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has reviewed its system for 2020 and so have the SSDI lawyers at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons. Here are the major updates in social security to be aware of for 2020. As always, we are here to help, so if any questions arise while getting familiar with the 2020 social security updates, contact us online or by phone. Our experienced Oklahoma social security attorneys will lead you in the right direction.

1.Monthly Benefits Increase

Social Security benefits change with inflation, allowing Social Security recipients to keep up with rising costs of living. The SSA does a calculation each year to determine the extent of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that needs to be made to the previous year’s benefits.

In 2020, Social Security recipients get a 1.6% COLA in their monthly benefits. The average individual retired Social Security recipient should see their monthly benefit go from $1,479 to $1,503, a $24 per month jump, or $288 for the year.

2.Maximum Monthly Benefit Increases

The maximum monthly benefit increased in 2020. How much more you’ll receive depends on your age. If you are 62, the maximum benefit in 2020 is $2,265, up $56 from 2019. If you are 65, it’s $2,857, up $100 from last year. For age 66, it’s $3,011, up $150. For age 70, it’s $3,790, up $20 from last year.

3.Earning Limit Increase

Initially, the age at which Social Security recipients were allowed to claim full retirement benefits was 65. However, over time, the full retirement age has risen. The higher the full retirement age, the longer you must wait to get the same level of benefits.

If you are between ages 62 and 67 in 2020, and working while also receiving monthly Social Security benefits, you will be able to earn up to $1,520 per month before the SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for every $2 you earn. The year you turn the full retirement age, the earnings limit will be $4,050 per month before the SSA will deduct $1 for every $3 you earn until the month you reach full retirement age. The earnings limit disappears after you reach full retirement age.

4. Supplemental Security Income Increases

People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal program that provides aid to the aged, blind, and those with disabilities who have few assets, saw an increase in their monthly payment in 2020.

The individual amount increases $12 per month, from $771 in 2019 to $783 this year. The amount for couples increases $18, from $1,157 to $1,175. To qualify for SSI, individuals must have no more than $2,000 in assets (the limit is $3,000 for couples), excluding your home, vehicle, and certain other items like life insurance policies.

The majority of recipients do not get the full amount of benefits because the standard SSI determines payments by countable income, which includes most income but excludes income from work, need-based benefits, and various other sources. For example, if countable income comes in at $400, then an individual would get $783 minus $400 or $383 per month.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Social Security Updates

What Is the Social Security Cap for 2020?

The Social Security cap, which is the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax, increased from $132,900 in 2019 to $137,700 in 2020. The increase affects a relatively small percentage of workers (11.8 million, or 7% of the 171 million workers covered under Social Security). This cap increase means that those workers will have to pay about $298 more of their wages into Social Security in 2020 than they did in 2019.

How Much Can I Earn While on Social Security Disability in 2020?

To apply for disability benefits through Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), you must make less than $1,260 per month to qualify for benefits in 2020. In 2019, it was $1,220 per month. If you are working and earning more than that, you are considered to be doing “substantial gainful activity” (SGA).

However, if you are currently receiving SSDI, you can make more when returning to work for a work trial period. In 2020, a month qualifies as a trial work period month when an SSDI recipient makes over $910 per month. This is an increase from $880 per month the previous year. If you feel you are not receiving an adequate amount of SSDI benefits, the decision made by the SSA can be appealed for more SSDI benefits.

If you are receiving SSI, the federal income limit for SSI is $783 per month in 2020. However, complex rules govern which income is countable and which is not. Over half of the income earned by an SSI recipient is not counted toward the limit. Therefore, you can receive SSI until you make up to $1,650 per month. It’s worth noting that income received between $0 and $1,650 will reduce your monthly benefit.

What Does It Take to Earn a Social Security Credit in 2020?

The earnings required for one work credit (three months of Social Security coverage) increased from $1,360 in 2019 to $1,410 in 2020. Credits are what the SSA uses to determine whether you qualify for benefits. You may earn up to a maximum of four credits per year if you earn at least $5,440.

More often than not, you’ll need a minimum of 40 credits to qualify for benefits. The credits you earn will remain on your Social Security record, even if you change careers or if you have no income for a length of time. Every year, the earnings needed to receive credits go up marginally as the average earnings levels increase.

Social Security credits are based on the amount of your earnings. The SSA uses your earnings and your work history to determine your eligibility for retirement or disability benefits, or your family’s eligibility for survivors’ benefits after you die.

Contact an Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorney

If you are disabled and unable to work, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel about obtaining all the SSDI and SSI benefits that you may be qualified to receive. The skilled and experienced Oklahoma City disability attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have been securing benefits from the SSA for clients since 1984.

Our Oklahoma City disability attorneys have the knowledge and resources needed to navigate this complicated system and help clients pursue the maximum SSDI and SSI benefits they are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding the Social Security disability benefits you deserve under federal law.