Social Security (SS) and Supplemental Security (SSI) benefits will increase in 2023 by an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The increased SS benefits begin this month January 2023, while the increased payments to SSI beneficiaries began on December 30, 2022. In 2023, the average Social Security retiree’s monthly income will be $1,827, a $146 increase from the average benefit of $1,681 in 2022. The 2023 income limit for Qualified Income Trust/Miller Trust purposes has increased to $2,742.
Of note, as a result of the ongoing Federal Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), which is expected to continue into mid-April 2023, many State Medicaid agencies are not increasing Patient Liability (PL), despite the SS and SSI increases. In those States, the 8.7% SS increase will lead to significant accrued income, which will ultimately cause a resource issue once the PHE expires. As a result, beneficiaries would be prudent to engage in a spend down of the SS/SSI overage before the PHE expires.
Providers would be wise to verify residents’ 2023 PL with Medicaid agencies, and specifically request updated 2023 calculations as soon as possible, but before the PHE possibly expires. It is also recommended that providers discuss potential spend down options for the accruing income with their beneficiaries
As always, SHG is available and ready to assist with any PL, QIT/Miller Trust, and/or resource issues arising from the very significant COLA increase to Social Security benefits.