By Warren Beck
What is not changing:
If you are eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period (IEP):
• Begins three months before your 65th birthday.
• Includes the month of your 65th birthday.
• Ends three months after your 65th birthday.
If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month you’re first eligible. If you sign up the month you turn 65, your coverage will start the first day of the following month. This won’t change with the new rule.
What is changing:
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, your Medicare Part B coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up if you sign up during the last three months of your IEP.
Before this change, if you signed up during the last three months of your IEP, your Medicare Part B coverage started two to three months after you enrolled.
If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your IEP, you have another chance each year during the general enrollment period (GEP). The GEP lasts from Jan. 1 through March 31. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.
You can learn more about these updates on our Medicare webpage at www.ssa.gov/medicare and our Medicare publication at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10043.pdf.
Please pass this information along to someone who may need it.
Q & A
Q.: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, are benefits payable on that person’s record?
A.: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:
• A widow or widower—unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60.
• A disabled widow or widower—as early as age 50.
• A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits.
• Unmarried children under 18 or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, or adopted children.
• Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
• Dependent parents age 62 or older.
Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to www.ssa.gov.
Q.: I plan to retire soon. When are Social Security benefits paid?
A.: Social Security benefits are paid each month. Generally, new retirees receive their benefits on either the second, third or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on the day in the month the retiree was born. If you receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit payment date will be determined by your spouse’s birth date.
Here’s a chart showing how your monthly payment date is determined:
Day of the Month You Were Born Social Security Benefits Paid On
1st-10th Second Wednesday
11th-20th Third Wednesday
21st-31st Fourth Wednesday
For a calendar showing actual payment dates, see the Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments at www.ssa.gov/pubs.
Q.: Will my Social Security disability benefit increase if my condition gets worse or I develop additional health problems?
A.: No. We do not base your Social Security benefit amount on the severity of your disability. The amount you are paid is based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. If you go back to work after getting disability benefits, you may be able to get a higher benefit based on those earnings. In addition, we have incentives that allow you to work temporarily without losing your disability benefits. For more information about disability benefits, read our publications “Disability Benefits and Working While Disabled — How We Can Help.” Both are available online at www.ssa.gov/pubs.