Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 18, 2013 - The Social Security Administration (SSA) has launched some new features and rules for 2013.
Social Security has asked that beneficiaries switch to a paperless system; though they will continue to send paper checks to those who insist on them, payments can be directly deposited or sent to an issued debit card, accessible wherever MasterCard is accepted.
By not mailing out checks every month, the Social Security Administration estimates that it will see significant savings as well as reduce the incidents of lost or stolen checks. The online system includes an electronic benefit verification letter, a live payment history, information and change-of-address updating capabilities, and direct-deposit account information.
"While there are some people who have expressed concern about switching to direct deposit," says Brandon social security attorney David W. Magann, "Those social security checks that are deposited directly are as safe as any other electronic banking."
As of March 1, 2013, the Treasury department planned to stop mailing checks to recipients and instead sending them via direct deposit to a bank or credit union account. The debit card is not necessary – a bank account is sufficient, and is in place for those who do not have a bank account. Currently approximately 93 percent of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are paid electronically.
The two-year payroll cut ended at the end of December 2012. If an individual paid 4.2 percent of their annual income to Social Security, they will now resume the payment of 6.2 percent, with a payroll tax cap of $113,700.
Additionally, the payroll tax cap was increased by $3,600, from $110,100 last year to $113,700 this year. If an individual earns more than $113,700, they will not need to pay their Social Security tax on that income.
And, as was expected, the annual cost of living increase took effect. As of January, Social Security beneficiaries have been receiving a 1.7 percent increase in payments, from $1,240 to $1,261 to meet the cost-of-living adjustment. It's a small increase, advocates say, but every little bit helps.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
6107 Memorial Hwy
Tampa, Florida 33615
South Tampa Office:
Bank of Tampa Building
601 Bayshore Blvd Ste 105
Tampa, FL 33606
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