Update: You can find the 2015 benefit amount increases in Nolo's 2015 Social Security COLA update.
The Social Security Administration announced a 1.5% increase
in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2014.
Increased payments to Social Security recipients begin January 1, 2014, while
increased payments to SSI recipients will show up in their December 31, 2013
The new SSI base amount is $721 per month for an individual and
$1,082 per month for a couple. The SSI payment amounts are higher in states
that pay a supplementary SSI payment.
While Social Security retirement and disability benefit amounts
depend on the lifetime earnings of the recipient, the average retirement
benefit will go up to $1,294 in 2014, the average disability benefit will
increase to $1,148, and the average surviving spouse benefit is expected to go
up to $1,243. The maximum Social Security retirement benefit
will be $2,642 per month in 2014.
Along with this benefit increase, many important figures having
to do with Social Security and SSI eligibility, taxes, and benefits have
- Disability eligibility. For disability
purposes, an applicant for SSDI or SSI must be making less than $1,070 per
month to qualify for benefits (or $1,800 if blind). Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) recipients who attempt to return to work through a trial work
program will have a month count as a trial month if they make more than $770
- SSI eligibility. The new federal income limit for SSI
is $721 per month, but complicated rules govern what income is countable and
what income is not, and some states allow SSI applicants to have more income.
In short, income over $721 is likely to reduce or end one's SSI benefits,
though you can make more money and still qualify for some SSI. But once you
reach $1,527 in income, you can no longer qualify for any SSI.
- The income
exclusion amount for students is now $1,750 per month (up to an annual limit of
$7,060). The resource (asset) limits for SSI remains the same ($2,000 for an
individual and $3,000 for a couple).
- Early retirement and working. Those who
collect early retirement benefits but continue to work have their benefits
reduced when they make over $15,480 per year ($1,290 per month). But in the
year the recipient reaches full retirement age, he or she can now make up to $3,450
per month without having retirement benefits taken away. (After the worker
reaches full retirement age, benefits aren't reduced regardless of the any
amount of work or earnings.)
- Social Security taxes. The maximum amount of earnings
that is subject to the Social Security tax is $117,000 in 2014, up from $113,700
in 2013. There is no limit to the amount of income subject to the Medicare tax.
The Social Security figures and limits for 2013 can be found in the 2013 update.
Effective date: Jan 01, 2014