Double Social Security Payments: A Rare Occurrence in 2024.

This week, Americans are in for a double Social Security payment due to particular regulations regarding retirement and disability benefits.

Normally, the Social Security Administration issues payments once a week to beneficiaries based on their birthdates. However, this week is an exception as some recipients will receive payments for both retirement and disability benefits. Social Security payments are typically distributed on a specific Wednesday of the month depending on the recipient’s birthdate.

The distribution schedule varies slightly. Beneficiaries who started receiving benefits in May 1997 or earlier receive their checks on the third day of each month. For others, their birthdate determines the payment date. Those born between the 1st and the 10th receive payments on the second Wednesday of the month, which fell on February 14 this year. Likewise, individuals born between the 11th and 20th received benefits on February 21, the third Wednesday. Lastly, those born in the later days of any month will receive payments on February 28.

But there’s more to come for Social Security recipients this week, with March payments scheduled at week’s end.

Recipients receiving both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will receive SSI payments on March 1 and Social Security checks on March 3. Similarly, individuals receiving benefits since 1997 or earlier, as well as those residing abroad, will receive their benefits on March 1.

The March schedule for the remaining beneficiaries will follow the traditional pattern based on birthdays falling on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays.

As for the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2023, there’s been an increase in benefits by 3.2 percent this year, aligning with the calculated COLA for the year.

The highest-earning Social Security beneficiaries this year, who retired at age 70, receive payments of $4,873 monthly. However, the average monthly benefit is notably lower at $3,822, while those who retired at 62 receive $2,710 monthly this year. On average, payments increased by $50 per month due to the COLA.

Despite the increase, many seniors feel that this year’s COLA is insufficient, particularly in comparison to the 8.7 percent increase in 2023.

Critics argue that the SSA should factor in seniors’ housing and healthcare costs more significantly when calculating the COLA, instead of solely relying on the consumer price index. Jonathan Price, the national retirement practice leader at employee benefits consulting firm Segal, previously conveyed to Newsweek, “Whether the annual COLA is appropriate for a specific retiree to ensure equal purchasing power as the prior year is highly specific to the life situation of the individual retiree, both in terms of expenses and other sources of income.”

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