December, 2023

Winter Update: Brrrreaking Social Security News

Social Security Spotlight: Changes in the upcoming year
RSSA | Monthly Newsletter | December 2023
December 2023 Newsletter



Hi there. We want to wish you a happy holiday season and new year! Please enjoy reading our newsletter filled with news and information on Social Security, retirement, and Medicare. Please reach out at with any feedback on our newsletters. We are always happy to hear from you.


RSSA Announcements



We are honored to shared that Applied General Agency (AGA) and Senior Services of North America (SSNA) have trusted us to provide their agents with Social Security planning education and training. AGA and SSNA are both part of the Integrity family. We look forward to what will come of these exciting new partnerships!


Top Stories  

Source: RSSA
Martin J. O’Malley was recently sworn in as the new Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. O’Malley replaces Kilolo Kijakazi, who was Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration since July 2021. Read more.
Source: CBS News
The 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) takes effect in January. “With the increase, the average benefit check will increase $49, rising to $1,907 from this year’s $1,858, the agency said.” Read the story.


Ask Martha  

Question: My daughter is a disabled adult who has been on SSI since childhood. Her father and I divorced and I have remarried. Her father passed away and she is eligible to get survivors benefit, however I was told she would lose her medicaid because she would no longer be eligible for SSI. My question is: as a caregiver of a disabled adult child, would I be eligible for divorced spouse with disabled child benefit and would it cause my daughter to lose her SSI? I am not retirement age and only income is my spouse’s social security and daughter’s SSI.
Martha’s response: Since you have remarried, you are not eligible for ex-spousal benefits. If you are caring for your disabled adult child, under certain circumstances, both you may be eligible for child-in-care spousal benefits and your daughter for child benefits based on your current spouse’s earnings (your daughter’s step-parent) if they are collecting retirement benefits….Read the full response.
Question: My friend recently got widowed and her late husband had been receiving SS benefits. My friend is still working, will her income affect her survivor benefits being taxed?
Martha’s response: If your friend is still working and younger than her full (normal) retirement age – FRA, (between 66 and 67 depending on her birth year) Social Security survivor benefits may be affected by the “earnings test” if she earns over the earnings threshold for her age. At, and after, her FRA the earnings test no longer applies….Read the full response.



Listen up: Social Security Podcast   


In this episode, Martha sits down with Melissa Warren and Thomas Drapala and they discuss what it’s like to work for RSSA, how they help financial professionals, and details about what the program offers.
You can listen to Social Security Answers from the Experts on Spotify, Google, Apple or anywhere you listen to podcasts. You can even watch the live recordings on our YouTube channel. Listen here or watch on YouTube.


Social Security Spotlight: Changes in the upcoming year   

What Social Security changes begin in January 2024? Beginning next month, there are many changes being implemented to the Social Security program. Some of these changes include but are not limited to an increase in benefits due to the COLA, an increase in the maximum monthly benefit, and an increase in the maximum amount of earnings subject to the payroll tax.

What will be the new average monthly benefit? The average monthly Social Security benefit for all retired workers is currently $1,848. With a 3.2 percent increase, the average monthly Social Security benefit in January 2024 will be $1,907.

What will be the new maximum monthly benefit? The maximum monthly benefit for a worker who filed in 2023 at Full Retirement Age FRA is currently $3,627. The maximum monthly Social Security benefit for a worker filing at FRA in 2024 will be $3,822.

What will be the new maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes? The maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxes will be increased 5.2% in 2024 from $160,200 to $168,600.

Learn more about 2024 Social Security changes here.


Case Study of the Month  

A family has questions about who will receive COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increases in their payments in January. Eric, 65, is collecting his retirement benefit. Janice, 63, is still working and has not collected benefits. Their adult child, Hudson, has a disability and is collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their minor child, Bella, is collecting children’s benefits.

Who will receive the 3.2% COLA?
All of them! Eric’s retirement benefit will increase. Bella’s children’s benefit is based on his benefit, and will also increase. SSI and disability (SSDI) recipients also receive the COLA increase. Although Janice hasn’t yet begun her benefits, her primary insurance amount (PIA) is increased with the COLA. Starting with the January after the 62nd birthday, COLAs are applied whether collecting or not.


Medicare & Insurance Agents


The unequivocal close relationship between Medicare & Social Security cannot be denied, and Social Security optimization is the cornerstone to retirement planning. Education, empathy, and a compassionate understanding of where a client is on their life journey, and addressing what they’re worried about is essential in today’s world. It requires a holistic approach that communicates to clients that you understand what is in their best interest.

Jumping the market and being able to speak with your target demographic before they reach Medicare age outside of Medicare marketing guidelines will create a sales funnel of those who are going to be claiming Social Security and Medicare for the next 15 years.

Turn Social Security prospects into Medicare clients using the RSSA® Program. The RSSA® Program is a turn-key Social Security education, technology, marketing, and support program to help your organization build a sales funnel, fill seats at events, and open the door to organic Medicare, Insurance, and Wealth Management sales opportunities.

Learn More about the RSSA® Program.

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