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FAQ

Why has my 2021 Medicare Part B premium increased to the point of wiping out my cost-of-living Social Security benefit increase?
The 2021 Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) by the Social Security Administration (SSA), boosted the average beneficiary check about $28.00 a month, or $336 a year. The increase is the largest since the 3.6% hike in 2021 compared to the minuscule 0.3 % increase in 2021. and no raise at all in 2015.The millions of people who depend on Social Security for all or most of their income, will find that their COLA increase will not do much if anything to cover the soaring costs of prescription drugs, medical care, and nearly doubled housing increases.In spite of relatively stable inflation levels, those on fixed incomes and those who are struggling to make ends meet are especially feeling the pinch. Electric rates have increased an average of about 3.5% percent compared to 2021. and prescription drug prices are increasing even faster, now about 12%. COLA is based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the prior year to the corresponding quarter of the current year in which the COLA became effectiveThe 2021 COLA could result in higher Medicare Part B premiums. The standard premium is now $134 a month, but participants could pay less if they have the fee automatically deducted from monthly benefit payments. There is a “hold harmless” provision in federal law which prohibits Medicare premiums cannot reduce your Social Security benefits. So, like mine, your raise could be all going to your Medicare premium and what you receive remains the same. My benefit amount has been the same since Jan 2021 but my Medicare premium has raised twice. In reality, most Medicare beneficiaries are held harmless due to this 2% raise, your premium is raised only to the point where it does not reduce your monthly benefit amount. Compare last year’s benefit statement with your new 2021 benefit statement. Your Medicare premium is probably different so your 2% raise is reflected totally in your Medicare premium.In 2021. the COLA is large enough to allow for an increase in premiums. There are many people who do not pay the full $134 premium because of the hold-harmless provision. The increase in premiums that some beneficiaries will see next month is an unfortunate side effect of not having a substantial Social Security COLA adjustment recently.Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, a nonprofit advocacy group says, “It’s long past time for Congress to update the formula used to calculate the yearly COLAs so that it reflects the real expenses that seniors and Americans with disabilities face every day.”[1]Although my 2% COLA increase, will go to Medicare and not in my pocket, that increase is not a lot of money compared what I’d have to pay out-of-pocket without Medicare as secondary payer due to my serious health issues. I will remain appreciative for my little drop in the bucket because I fear it is not long before it is taken to offset the 1.5 trillion budget deficit. Who better to take from, the weak little guys that fight for life every day and are least worried about their hobbies when they are struggling just to breathe and regularly hope for a break regarding their health or their children’s health.Footnotes[1] Social Security checks finally get an increase, but it’s still not enough
How do I find out my social security benefit amount?
Go to The United States Social Security Administration and sign up for a my social security online account. It will pryou with an efor every month you might start benefits. Keep in mind, it has to take guesses about what your earnings will be based on your prior earnings, and doesn't count cost of living adjustments that might happen.
How do I find my social security number in the USA?
If you are living in the US and making ends meet can be a problem at times, then you need to know about the special program of the government which is established just to help those in need. Do you know what Social Security is? What is the meaning of Social Security and the concept? Well, if you are looking for answers for these questions and many more then you have landed on the right page. Everything you need to know about it is below.Started in 1935, Social Security is a federal program that provides economic help to the section of the public which needs it. People who can benefit from the Social Security program of the government are retired people, poor, disabled and others. During the great depression of the 1930s, the US Government signed the Social Security Act in an effort to pra safety net for people going through financial crises. Though the great depression has ended a long time ago, the authorities have decided to keep the program running so as to prthe required financial support to people needing it.How Does It Work?In the US, employees as well as employers are required to pay Social Security taxes, and the funds raised through levying these taxes on the general public are provided as benefits to those in need. This way, workers of today pay the money that they will receive as benefits when they retire and so on. The Social Security benefits you receive are based on the amount of Social Security taxes you paid that are somewhat based on your income.What Are Social Security Benefits?The benefits offered by the Social Security Administration can be received in a number of ways, such as retirement benefits that you start receiving after you have reached the age of 62. In 2021. approximately 39 million people in the US received average monthly benefits of USD 1229 as retirement benefits. The US Social Security Administration also offers Disability benefits for people who have been disabled for at least five full months and their condition has rendered them unable to work. Furthermore, there is also a program for survivors which provides benefits for the widows and children of Social Security beneficiaries.Apart from these, there are also supplemental benefits that are available for people 65 years of age or older who have very limited financial resources and are disabled. Then there is also medicare which covered about 49 million people in 2021. making more than 550 billion US dollars in benefit payments.Well, now that you know what exactly Social Security is, what it entails and how it works, it is time for you to tell us what you think. Do you believe that the Social Security scheme of the US government is adequate or does it need further changes to be made for effective? Tell us through your comments below. We would love to hear from you.If you do not know your SSN (Social Security Number) and have lost your original card, you will need to visit your local Social Security Administration office - in person. To discuss your Social Security number or to obtain a replacement card, you will need certain documents as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport.An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information (date of birth or age) and preferably a recent photograph. For example, as proof of identity, Social Security must see your:U.S. driver's license,State-issued non-driver identification card, orU.S. passport.If you do not have one of these specific documents or you cannot get a replacement for one of them within 10 days, SSA will ask to see other documents, including:Employee identification card,School identification card,Health insurance card (not a Medicare card), orU.S. military identification card.If you come across a site that is displaying anyone’s Social Security number or Medical Records, you need to report them for internet crime because they hacked private information or bought data that was hacked and sold to sites like which exist primarily to perpetrate or promote fraud and identity theft. If you are hunting for Social Security numbers instead of just using your own, you can also be held responsible for attempted fraud or identity theft if you try to use it. There really is no honor among thieves, so don’t set yourself up for that to come haunt you. The political issues that are all over the news for the last 12 months and even beyond is all about illegal hacking and look at the widespread ill effects that is having.There are reputable sites for looking up someone’s background for your own protection or for employment purposes that do not advertise they can give you Social Security numbers, they do not have them. You cannot get your own Social Security number online, even on the SSA website signed into your account, as it is private and blocked save for the last four. It is protected information and not even listed on the web. Of course with Equifax’s last irresponsible hoopla, over 143 million people are up a creek without a paddle and totally screwed for life because you can’t just up and change your identity whenever you want like you change your passwords or screen names.When you go in person to your local office they may be able to assist you to find your number that day, if you have at least two forms of accepted ID, meaning original or certified by issuer documentation, your father’s social security number, or other forms of ID. Notarized documents are NOT accepted in any case. You must be able prove your identity beyond any doubt to get that number. If you try to apply for a second Social Security number they will also assume fraud and you’ll have a headache. If you are attempting to get your Social Security card replaced by mail you will have to fill out the correct forms from SSA and send your original or certified by issuer. They will not take copies or notarized forms. Your identification documents will be returned to you once they have reviewed them.You also will have an extremely hard time changing your Social Security number once issued. The number you are issued belongs to you for eternity, even after you die, that number stays attached to you—they do not re-use a number. It will just about take a legal order and proof for the reason you want to change it. All of your work history is attached to your number and changing it is not allowed only for reasons like witness protection or in certain cases of domestic violence. There are only one or two reasons they will issue a new number and losing your card is not one of them. Head into your local SSA office with acceptable forms of identification and apply for a replacement card—pretty simple and above board.Any old joe without a legitimate business and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot just go to Social Security and get your number without being registered as a legitimate business entity. You cannot type a persons name into a search box and access someone’s records that are not your own. You will have to show proof of your business along with submitting all requested documentation. You will need your own Social Security number just to complete this registration too as well as a stack of paperwork.Sites that advertise that they have everyone’s social security number are scams and will gladly take your money and not give you an SSN. Read their terms of use, they are not responsible for any information you get from their site. They need to be reported for internet fraud. Things like just type in a name and a state and you’ll have access to medical records, work history and earnings statements are simply not speaking the truth. If you hear that or someone tells you that, I’d run fast away from the fraud ans prison.If you come across a site that is displaying anyone’s Social Security number or Medical Records, you need to report them for internet crime because they hacked private information or bought data that was hacked and sold to sites like which exist primarily to perpetrate or promote fraud and identity theft. If you are hunting for Social Security numbers instead of just using your own, you can also be held responsible for attempted fraud or identity theft if you try to use it. There really is no honor among thieves, so don’t set yourself up for that to come haunt you. The political issues that are all over the news for the last 12 months and even beyond is all about illegal hacking and look at the widespread ill effects that is having.There are reputable sites for looking up someone’s background for your own protection or for employment purposes that do not advertise they can give you Social Security numbers, they do not have them. You cannot get your own Social Security number online, even on the SSA website signed into your account, as it is private and blocked save for the last four. It is protected information and not even listed on the web. Of course with Equifax’s last irresponsible hoopla, over 143 million people are up a creek without a paddle and totally screwed for life because you can’t just up and change your identity whenever you want like you change your passwords or screen names.When you go in person to your local office they may be able to assist you to find your number that day, if you have at least two forms of accepted ID, meaning originalorcertified by issuer documentation, your father’s social security number, or other forms of ID. Notarized documents are NOT accepted in any case. You must be able prove your identity beyond any doubt to get that number. If you try to apply for a second Social Security number they will also assume fraud and you’ll have a headache. If you are attempting to get your Social Security card replaced by mail you will have to fill out the correct forms from SSA and send your original or certified by issuer. They will not take copies or notarized forms. Your identification documents will be returned to you once they have reviewed them.You also will have an extremely hard time changing your Social Security number once issued. The number you are issued belongs to you for eternity, even after you die, that number stays attached to you—they do not re-use a number. It will just about take a legal order and proof for the reason you want to change it. All of your work history is attached to your number and changing it is not allowed only for reasons like witness protection or in certain cases of domestic violence. There are only one or two reasons they will issue a new number and losing your card is not one of them. Head into your local SSA office with acceptable forms of identification and apply for a replacement card—pretty simple and above board.Any old joe without a legitimate business and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot just go to Social Security and get your number without being registered as a legitimate business entity. You cannot type a persons name into a search box and access someone’s records that are not your own. You will have to show proof of your business along with submitting all requested documentation. You will need your own Social Security number just to complete this registration too as well as a stack of paperwork.Sites that advertise that they have everyone’s social security number are scams and will gladly take your money and not give you an SSN. Read their terms of use, they are not responsible for any information you get from their site. They need to be reported for internet fraud. Things like just type in a name and a state and you’ll have access to medical records, work history and earnings statements are simply not speaking the truth. If you hear that or someone tells you that, I’d run fast away from the fraud ans prison.The only place to get your Social Security Number free is to go in person to your local Social Security office with proper identification and fill out their form to obtain one. Your number is there just needs to be given to you. Proper identification would include drivers license, marriage certificate, military ID, health insurance card, passport.The marriage license may be necessary for women in case of name change.Other areas on the Internet may brag about Social Security Number information but that's all they are doing is bragging. Even if you already have someone's social you can't get information unless you are a police officer or private investigator with credentials.
How likely is it that someone who is about to retire, after being forced to pay into Social Security, will be means tested out of benefits?
Social Security benefits can be limited by the source and amount of other income that you receive. If this counts as “means tested” in your definition of the phrase then it is rare, but given the particular set of circumstances for an individual, it could be likely.If you have a government pension from other employment that you had during you working years, you could face a Government Pension Offset (GPO) which could eliminate your SS benefits altogether if the GP is high enough.The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is another limitation that could limit your SS benefits.Thanks
Should individuals be able to opt out of Medicare Part A without losing social security benefits?
I assume you mean Medicare ‡ not Medicaid. And no ‡ it would be stupid to opt out. First, it doesn't cost you anything to be covered, and you wouldn't save anything by opting out. But more importantly, if you are retired (and in some other situations) Medicare is your primary coverage by law ‡ whether you have it or not ‡ and other coverage will only cover what Medicare doesn't. Again, whether or not you actually have Medicare coverage. If you can find an insurance company that will pay you even though it has no legal obligation to do so, you'd probably pay through the nose.But the good news is that, if you were to somehow waive Part A, it would have no effect on your eligibility for retirement benefits.
Can a US Social Security number given to a foreigner ever expire? How do I find out the number?
A2AIf one is in the U.S., one can go to a local Social Security Administration office with suitable identification. Office personnel then will look up an individual’s social security number.However, that approach will not work for the OP, who is outside the U.S. And no one in the U.S. - not even a lawyer with written authorization - can obtain the SSN on the foreign individual’s behalf.The only approach of which I am aware for individuals who are outside the U.S. - and this is an approach that requires a bit of geographic luck - is as follows:The Social Security Administration is represented for benefits payment purposes by Federal Benefits Units in many countries throughout the world. If there is a nearby Federal Benefits Unit, you can ask personnel there to look up your SSN.None of my clients has tried this, so I do not know how practicable this procedure is.So my advice is to try some of these SSN retrieverEnjoy
Do you think it's appropriate to tax Social Security benefits when they are paid out?
No, I do not.That would make it like most of our other taxes - dual ended.For example, we tax the farmer for the seed he purchases. We tax/fee for the water he uses. We tax the tractor and fertilizer he uses.Then when he sells his product we tax that too.I have become a firm believer in a consumption side tax that is attached to finished goods.I know difficult to define. One persons raw materials are anothers finished goods. Are seeds finished goods? What about water or fertilizer?Choose one end of the supply chain to tax, but not both! Just make up your mind one way or another. Undoubtedly it will be the one that produces the highest revenue, and thus by default is a higher tax, but so what? It isn’t double taxation.Social Security taxes were paid into by future beneficiaries and their employers (or themselves if a small business) as essential raw materials. The government held them, used them, processed them, and are distributed to the beneficiaries as finished goods.Do not tax both ends. We need to reform that on other products as well.I would support a national sales tax while removing all income tax. Taxing income is taxing the essential raw material that creates the finished goods.**************************************************************************************Okay - I am being greedy here, however I wanted people to view my comment and form their own opinion. I wrote this as a comment back to Marva Dasef ‘s comment on my post above. It seemed to get buried under many levels of sub content and as I say, I wish to have more view it. Here it is.**************************************************************************************FICA is not currently taxed true. But it is still relative to the amount you earn - aka income.For employer’s, it is a deduction, not a reduction.I only receive Social Security income and am aware the tax may be zero - as mine is.But “might very well be” does not make it a certainty for many.Most often, a national sales tax or fair sales tax proposed would fall somewhere between 23% and 30%. It could replace the income tax and the 6.2 % employee portion of the Social Security tax, that has an ever increasing maximum taxable income.What you are suggesting is that a national sales tax favors the rich.This depends on how you measure rich. That is, what you use as a denominator. If you measure dollars spent per dollars of income, the tax is harder on the poor, because it is true that the poor do spend a greater percentage of their income. They do not spend as large a total amount overall, however.Income is but only one measure of “rich”. It measures your productivity and the value of your efforts or labor.There are three very different measures of rich:· accumulated wealth· annual production· consumer lifestyleA flat sales tax is exactly in proportion to this third factor, a lavish consumer lifestyle. The poor are not usually found to live a lavish lifestyle.If you use the total dollars you spent as your measure of rich, a flat sales tax is exactly proportional so those who spend more - they pay more.I can argue that your lifestyle spending - lavish or frugal - is a measure of how rich you live. It is easy to make the case that how rich you live should determine how much you should be taxed.For rich individuals who are spending their amassed fortunes, the change would be much more pronounced. Rich people may sometimes have little income, and yet have a very high spending rate and lavish lifestyle. This increase in taxes would be significant.I would also like to take this opportunity to mention two very important aspects of how we are now being taxed and once were taxed.Timely right now as we listen to and sort out the "tariff wars". Add to that if we are looking at a flat sales tax, we need to look at the scale of currently still untaxed internet sales. This is especially true for foreign internet sales.Tariffs were once the main source of federal revenue from the founding of the United States until the Sixteenth Amendment providing for an income tax in 1913. This amendment (duly ratified) then gave Congress the power to collect duties, imposts and excise taxes and income taxes.Further, internet sales and goods made by overseas entities need to have a sales tax applied. Currently, they do not have or have very limited taxes applied. Otherwise online orders from foreign countries could be another method of avoiding the tax. A foreign sales tax acts the same as an import tariff.The dollar volume of foreign internet sales is huge. One cannot determine (or candidly I don’t care) if a foreign buyer is rich or poor by United States standards.So the question of should Social Security benefits be taxed becomes very complex very quickly.Maybe that is why I will soon be an Expat and living a lavish lifestyle in a foreign country. Lavish, relative to my currently frugal lifestyle here in the States. This lifestyle afforded to me only by my untaxed Social Security benefits.We got this!