Retirement

Three Common Ways Your Social Security Payment Can Grow After Retirement

June 21, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: June 21, 2018

woman planting flowers You made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But, did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase?

Once you begin receiving benefits, there are three common ways benefit checks can increase: a cost of living adjustment (COLA); additional work; or an adjustment at full retirement age if you received reduced benefits and exceeded the earnings limit.

The COLA is the most commonly known increase for Social Security payments. We annually announce a COLA, and there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. By law, federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). More than 66 million Americans saw a 2.0 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018. For more information on the 2018 COLA, visit our website.

Social Security uses your highest thirty-five years of earnings to figure your benefit amount when you sign up for benefits. If you work after you begin receiving benefits, your additional earnings may increase your payment. If you had fewer than 35 years of earnings when we figured your benefit, you will replace a zero earnings year with new earnings. If you had 35 years or more, we will check to see if your new year of earnings is higher than the lowest of the 35 years (after considering indexing). We check additional earnings each year you work while receiving Social Security. If an increase is due, we send a notice and pay a one-time check for the increase and your continuing payment will be higher.

Maybe you chose to receive reduced Social Security retirement benefits while continuing to work. You made the choice to take benefits early, but at a reduced rate. If you exceeded the allowable earnings limit and had some of your benefits withheld, we will adjust your benefit once you reach full retirement age. We will refigure your payment to credit you for any months you did not receive payments.  Your monthly benefit will increase based on the crediting months you receive. You can find additional information about working and your benefit by reading What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits.

Retirement just got more interesting since you learned about potential increases to monthly payments. Social Security has been securing your today and tomorrow for more than 80 years with information and tools to help you achieve a successful retirement.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Stanley J.

    WORKED OVER SEAS FOR A FOREIGN COMPANY NO SS TAXES TAKEN IPAID IRS EACH YEAR BASD ON INCOME, ONLY HOW CAN I INCREASE MY RETIREMENT

  2. Jerry a.

    I have to use my phone and talk into the mic to do my typing for me so I guess I was on the wrong site I was trying to get the DSS I and help for disability warm problem is my eyesight. I do not have enough money to keep going I have to ask my son to pay the light bills and I have a problem with my back and both legs of had operated on so I guess I will look for a different site to fill out the paperwork. Thank you and I guess I will try to find it somewhere

    • Luis A.

      Hi Jerry. Your brother may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area, and find out if your brother qualifies, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

  3. Mary E.

    When Social Security is sending you another check for underpayment and it says check will be around a certain date,does that mean that date or within a week?Thanks.

  4. Gary

    If I apply for SSI benefits on October 2019, and select the month of December as your first month of entitlement, my first payment will be made the second Wednesday in January 2020 … for tax purpose, will that be considered income for 2019 or 2020 ?

  5. Kenneth

    53,terminal I’ll with cancer lungs bones liver an bio ducts… I receive SSD can I increase my check amount?

    • Luis A.

      Hi, Kenneth. We are sorry to hear about your condition. We do not base your Social Security benefit amount on the severity of your disability. We base it on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. Disability payments are established at the highest rate possible, and we used the highest years of your earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. To find out whether you may qualify and if you need to file a separate application call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). You also can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this information helps.

  6. Essie L.

    I was put on total disability but when I turned 66 they put me on retirement benefits.So I was wanting to know could I work?

  7. John S.

    I am currently on SSDI and have been for several years. I am currently 65 and 6 months old. I am currently working part time and making well under SGA so my benefits have remained eligible. I am thinking about taking a job that pays more and my question is if i can stop SSDI and get SSI Retirement instead without losing a monthly check. I will in May when I turn 66 automatically convert to SSI retirement anyway and was wondering how to go about doing that now (6 months early).

    • Ann C.

      Hi, John. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that you please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak with one of our agents, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. You may also visit your local Social Security office.

  8. Jeffrey S.

    My bank account was closed just before my deposit went in and they sent my ss deposit back to the disbursement office. How can I get it back the fastest?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Jeffrey. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal information in this forum. In your situation, we recommend that you call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to discuss this matter. You may also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  9. Larry M.

    I received my monthly social benefit and received another deposit on same day for additional 80.00 dollars. Why

    • Luis A.

      Hi Larry. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal information in this forum. In your situation, we recommend that you call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to discuss this matter. You may also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  10. Sherrel A.

    I’m still working at 69 just went part tme received extra money in account .why was that

    • Luis A.

      Hi Sherrel. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal information in this forum. Please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Or, you may to contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

Comments are closed.