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Social Security payments are a crucial part of the social insurance and welfare program in the U.S., providing financial assistance to retired individuals aged 65 and over, qualifying disabled people, survivors of deceased claimants, and others. The payments are issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and vary in amount depending on the type of benefit, date of birth, and residency status of the recipient. The program also includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for elderly, blind, and disabled individuals with minimal income and assets to help meet their basic needs.

The timing of Social Security payments varies depending on the type of benefit and the recipient’s birthdate. For example, SSI payments and Social Security payments for those who have been claiming since before May 1997 are issued on April 1, while other recipients receive their payments on different dates depending on their birth month. The amount of Social Security payments increases each year based on the Cost of Living Adjustment rule, tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban wage earners and clerical workers, which adjusts payments based on inflation.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced a proposal called the Boosting Benefits and COLAs for Seniors Act to increase the amount by which SSA payments go up each year. This proposal would tie the increases to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which takes into account rising healthcare costs that disproportionately impact seniors. This change could provide additional financial support to seniors who rely on Social Security payments to make ends meet.

Overall, Social Security payments are a vital source of income for millions of Americans, helping them cover basic living expenses and providing financial security in retirement. The program is funded by taxes and plays a crucial role in preventing poverty among elderly and disabled individuals. The timing and amount of Social Security payments are determined by a range of factors, including the type of benefit, birthdate, and residency status of the recipient. Regular adjustments are made to ensure that payments keep up with the rising cost of living.

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