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Social Security Goes Over Commonly Used Acronyms

A couple of times a year, Social Security reminds the public of commonly used acronyms as part of the Plain Writing Act of 2010.


On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Jack Myers says this can be challenging when talking about complicated programs like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare. He notes they have an online glossary of terms and acronyms that will help you understand the meaning.  



COLA, or cost of living adjustment, will be making headlines soon. Myers explains Social Security and SSI benefits keep pace with inflation through COLAs. Most years your benefit will get a COLA, which usually means extra money. This “inflation protection” is a very valuable aspect of your Social Security benefits. 



Credits are another term the public may hear when talking about Social Security. Myers explains as you work and pay Social Security taxes on your earnings, you earn credits - previously called “quarters of coverage”. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, and the amount of gross wages or net earnings from self-employment required to earn a credit typically increases from year to year.  



Earnings records is is the history of the amount of money you earned each year during your working lifetime. And finally, Myers says FICA is one that is becoming less and less known as pay stubs go digital. 



Again that website is www.ssa.gov/agency/glossary. 

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