2017 Social Security Rates Announced
Max Social Security will be $2,687 per month in 2017
The Social Security Administration has announced its 2017 rates. The maximum Social Security retirement and disability monthly benefit will be $2,687. Social Security Retirement and Social Security Disability are programs for people that have paid Social Security taxes into the system, and have enough work credits to qualify to receive benefits. Benefits are paid based upon the amount you earned and the taxes you paid. For example, if you earned more than the Social Security maximum taxable earnings, you would qualify for the maximum monthly benefit. Someone who earned less, but still paid all of their taxes would be paid a benefit each month, but the amount would be lower based upon the amount of their earnings.
$1,170 will be the monthly earnings cutoff to still qualify for SS Disability in 2017
To qualify for Social Security Disability, one thing a worker has to prove is that they are not working and are earning below the “SGA” cap. SGA stands for Substantial Gainful Activity. The SGA cap is the maximum amount of money a person can earn, and still apply (or qualify) for Social Security Disability.
For 2017, Social Security raised the “substantial gainful activity” level for nonblind individuals. Now, a person will be able to earn $1,170 per month from employment and still qualify to apply for Social Security Disability.
Keep in mind that the SGA cap is not a bright line. You can still be disqualified if you earn close to that cap, depending on what work you are doing. Social Security may decide that you are voluntary limiting your employment to stay below the cap. If your disabling restrictions and limitations allow you to work, but keep you from earning more than the SGA level, be sure to document why you cannot work more, by telling your doctor, your employer, and others about how you are limited.
$1,300 per quarter in earnings required to earn work credits
When U.S. workers report their earnings, they get credits in the Social Security system. In 2017, $1,300 in reported earnings from work will get a work one credit in the system. Reporting $5,200 during the calendar year will earn a worker the maximum 4 work credits. That does not get the worker the maximum benefit, it just gets the worker covered under the system. Again, to amount of benefits goes up with the amount of earnings that are reported.
Individual SSI will rise to $735 per month
SSI, the Supplemental Security Income program for indigent people below the poverty line, will pay a monthly benefit of $735 for an individual and $1,103 for a married couple in 2017. This means that disabled people that have not paid enough taxes from work earnings to get enough credits in the Social Security Disability system will be limited to a benefit of $735 per month.
To qualify for SSI, an individual has to have resources (money in bank accounts, personal possessions, investments, etc.) less than $2,000 total. A married couple has to have less than $3,000 total.
There is no more money beyond that from Social Security that a disabled person can be paid if they have not paid taxes into the system. For that reason, it is crucial that you pay taxed on all of your earnings. Do not work under the table or avoid paying taxes, because the SSI system will not get you enough money to live if you become disabled.