3 Social Security Changes You Probably Didn’t Know | Personal finance

2. Work credits are harder to earn

To qualify for Social Security benefits during retirement, you must accumulate 40 work credits during your lifetime. The value of a credit can vary from year to year and you can only obtain a maximum of four credits per year.

Last year, $1,470 of earnings qualified you for a work credit. This year, it takes $1,510 in income to get a credit. If you work full-time, this change may not affect you. But if you’re a part-time worker, that higher threshold could put you at risk of not acquiring the credits you need to get benefits later.

3. Medicare Part B premiums have increased

Technically, Medicare is a separate program from Social Security, so you can argue that higher Part B premiums aren’t really a change in Social Security. But seniors who receive both Social Security and Medicare will no doubt be hurt by this year’s Part B premium hikes. This is because these higher costs will erode their Social Security increases.

Social Security benefits got a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 on the heels of runaway inflation in the third quarter of 2021. But much of that COLA will now be lost in favor of higher Medicare Part B premiums, which are deducted from Social Security benefits for those enrolled in both programs.

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