If you are one of the millions of Americans who receive Social Security benefits, you may have noticed a boost in your monthly payment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a one-time direct payment of up to $4,555 to eligible beneficiaries as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The payment is intended to help Social Security recipients cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide relief for those who have experienced delays or reductions in their regular benefits due to SSA’s backlog of claims and appeals.
According to SSA, the payment amount is based on each beneficiary type’s average monthly benefit amount as of December 2020. The payment amounts are as follows:
- $4,555 for retired workers and their spouses
- $3,895 for disabled workers and their spouses
- $2,340 for widows and widowers
- $2,155 for children
Social Security recipients are scheduled to receive their payments in three waves this December. The first wave, for retirees born between the 1st and 10th of the month, will receive their payments on December 13th. Subsequent payments will be issued on December 20th and December 27th for beneficiaries born between the 11th and 20th and 21st and 31st of the month, respectively, according to Gazette.com.
The maximum Social Security benefits a retiree can receive depends on two factors: their lifetime earnings and their retirement age. Those who retire at the earliest eligible age, 62, will receive a maximum of $2,572 per month. Delaying retirement to age 70 will increase the maximum benefit to $4,555 per month. Recipients who choose to retire at age 67 will receive up to $3,627 per month.
The payment is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other federal benefits or programs. It also does not count as income or resources for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.
The payment was automatically deposited into the same bank account or Direct Express card that beneficiaries use to receive their