2015 Social Security Changes

Dafne CholetIt’s a new year; the holiday season has passed, and 2015 has finally arrived! For some of us, this year brings a new resolve to head to the gym, or maybe even a general goal to make this year better than 2014. Some people don’t create goals but instead make a broad objective hoping to continue on with a good life or creating a better one. Whether you have made goals or not, 2015 is sure to bring change, whether good or bad. Social Security is no exception.

In fact, on the first day of the this year’s congress, Republicans started talking right away about Social Security and changes that need to happen. While the proposed ideas are not near approval, much less implementation, the discussion demonstrates how much Social Security will most likely change in the future. This article focuses on the Social Security changes planned for 2015.

2015 Social Security Changes

  • The first change is in regard to the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). Those who are receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will receive a 1.7 percent COLA for 2015.
    • Emily Brandon writes in the US News and World Report’s article titled 5 Social Security Changes Coming in 2015 that the living adjustment is expected to give the typical retiree about $22 more per month.
    • SSA.gov says that the 1.7 percent increase will also increase the average monthly Social Security disability payment $19.
  • A second change requires that you earn $1,220 in covered earnings to get one Social Security or Medicare work credit. You would have to earn $4880 to get the maximum four credits for the year. Credits are based on your total wages and total self-employment for the year. The amount of earnings it takes to earn that credit fluctuates every couple of years.
  • Another 2015 Social Security change is the substantial gainful activity (SGA) requirement. In order to qualify for disability, you have to not be able to engage in SGA. As of 2015, a non-blind individual making at least $1090 per month is generally considered to be engaging in SGA. Note that the monthly SGA for blind individuals is higher–$1820 per month.

It is important that you understand the changes to Social Security in 2015 so that you can be adequately prepared. Sometimes the numbers don’t fluctuate that dramatically, but it does help to know them either way. Remember, you are not alone in this process. If you need help with your disability claim, Summit Disability is more than happy to help you. Make 2015 the year you reach out for help, and let us help you.

Photo Courtesy of Dafne Cholet and Creative Commons.

Additional sources:

http://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2015.html

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/credits1.htm

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/cola/sga.html

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/social-security-di-house-rules-change

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/cola/sga.html