There has also been two months added to the full retirement age for people born between 1955 and 1960, making it longer for citizens to claim benefits.
Beneficiaries of Social Security will also be receiving a slight cost-of-living-adjustment. The adjustment will increase benefits by 2% in 2018. This is the largest increase in benefits in years, but still falls short of the average cost of living adjustment which has been 3.8% since 1975.
The increases may not be enough for many seniors that face a Medicare Part B increase.
High wage earners will also be contributing more to Social Security. The threshold for high-income earners to stop paying Social Security tax has been increased $1,500 from $127,200 to $128,700. Any earnings above this amount will not be subject to Social Security tax.
Social Security beneficiaries can also earn more money in 2018 than they did in the past. Beneficiaries now enjoy an earnings value of $17,040. Beneficiaries will have their benefits reduced by $1 for every $2 extra that they earn.
The thresholds change slightly for every year that a person reaches full retirement age. The earnings limit is set at $3,780 for the months when a person remains below the full retirement age. The income threshold also allows for benefits to be reduced by $1 for every $3 extra earned.
Anyone receiving Social Security Disability will be able to earn $1,180 without their benefits being impacted. Blind persons can earn $1,970 without having their benefits impacted.
"Individuals may not collect SSDI payments if their income exceeds these levels. There are exceptions to these limits and a Social Security disability lawyer can help individuals determine whether these exceptions apply to their specific circumstances. For example, there are many deductions workers can claim for the costs associated with returning to work which can lower the individual’s income so that they may continue collecting benefits during this time," states disability attorney Rick L. Moore.
Beneficiary payments have been increased, with the SSA expecting the average check to increase by $27 a month. Disability payments are set to rise to $750 for individuals or $1,125 for couples.
Credits have changed in 2018, with credit increases requiring a person to earn 40 credits during their lifetime and a maximum of four credits earned per year. Credits are earned when a person has $1,320 in earnings in 2018.
The Federal Government's shutdown will not have an impact on Social Security and disability payments. Minor services will be impacted and employees will be placed on furlough. Checks will still be dispersed even during a shutdown. There's a shutdown contingency plan that allows for most core programs and benefits to be provided even during a shutdown.
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