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Social Security Payments to Increase 1.7%

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The Social Security Administration has announced that payments to retired and disabled beneficiaries will increase by 1.7% in 2015. This inflation adjustment is intended to offset the higher costs-of-living encountered by beneficiaries. The increase is effective in January 2015.

Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. The Social Security Administration reports that:

  •    Nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.
  •    Social Security benefits represent about 38% of the income of the elderly.
  •    Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 52% of married couples and 74% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security.
  •    Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 22% of married couples and about 47% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. 

Social Security Benefits Increase

The estimated average Social Security benefit payable in 2015 to all retired workers will be $1,328 (up $22 from 2014). The estimated average for an aged couple where both are receiving benefits will be $2,176 (up $36). 

The maximum Social Security benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age will be $2,663. (Individual benefits vary with factors such as the worker’s lifetime earnings record and age at time of claiming).   

SSI Benefits

With this year’s cost of living adjustment the maximum federal SSI benefit for an individual will rise from $721 per month to $733. The maximum benefit for a couple on SSI will increase from $1,082 per month to $1,100.

Pennsylvania and many other states add to SSI benefits for their residents so that actual payments can exceed the federal maximums. The monthly payment amount is reduced by subtracting the recipient’s monthly countable income.

People who receive SSI usually qualify automatically for Medicaid benefits.

Related Reading

Social Security Changes (Social Security Administration Press Release)