Can My Employer Withhold Social Security and Medicare Taxes From My Paycheck in Lebanon, PA?

Typically, federal law requires employers to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from an employee’s paycheck. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), taxes paid under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) consist of:

  • Social Security Taxes, which are comprised of disability, survivors, and old-age insurance tax
  • Medicare Taxes, which are comprised of hospital insurance tax

The rates for each of the above taxes are different. You might see a notation for FICA taxes on your pay stub, or you might see the taxes broken down into their individual amounts. 

Your employer is required to match these funds dollar-for-dollar. That means if you pay $100 in FICA taxes each payday, your employer must pay $100 in FICA taxes for you each pay period. Your portion of the taxes is generally referred to as employee withholding taxes.

Employment Taxes for Social Security 

The Social Security taxes withheld from your paycheck might be abbreviated as:

  • SS – Social Security 
  • FICA – Federal Insurance Contribution Act
  • OASDI – Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance 
  • SWT – Social Security Withholding Tax

The current tax rate for Social Security taxes is 6.2% of your taxable income. There is a wage base limit for Social Security taxes. The limit for 2022 is $147,000.

Employment Taxes for Medicare

Medicare tax withheld from your paycheck might be abbreviated as:

  • Med – Medicare
  • MWT – Medicare Withholding Tax
  • HI – Hospital Insurance 

The current tax rate for Medicare tax is 1.45% of your taxable income. There is no wage base limit for Medicare taxes. Therefore, all taxable income is subject to Medicare tax.

However, an additional Medicare tax applies if your Medicare wages exceed a specific amount based on your taxpayer filing status. For example, employers must withhold an additional 0.9% for wages paid over $200,000 in a calendar year, but the employer does not match the amount paid for Additional Medicare Tax.

What Should I Do if I Don’t See a Deduction for Medicare or Social Security?

Your pay stub should list all amounts deducted or withheld from your pay each pay period. Employers are not required to show their matching amount for Medicare or Social Security taxes.

If you do not see an amount with one of the above abbreviations, talk to someone in your payroll department or your employer. They should provide a detailed explanation of each amount withheld from your pay. Generally, confusion arises when an employer uses a code or abbreviation that is not commonly used to identify these deductions.

Why Do We Pay Social Security Taxes?

Your Social Security taxes fund Social Security benefits. The money is used to pay Social Security for retired individuals who paid into the system. It is also used to pay disability benefits to disabled workers and long-income individuals who cannot work.

The two disability programs operated by the Social Security Administration are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – Pays disability benefits to workers who develop a long-term disability that prevents them from working
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Pays disability benefits to low-income individuals with disabilities that prevent them from working and who have not paid into the Social Security system to qualify for SSDI payments 

Social Security disability benefits are not like workers’ compensation benefits. SSA disability benefits are only paid to someone with a long-term disability or terminal illness. The SSA definition of disabled is a person who:

  • Cannot perform a substantial gainful activity (work); AND,
  • Has a diagnosed condition that is terminal or expected to last for at least one year or longer.

A disability includes physical conditions, mental disorders, and cognitive impairments. The SSA has a long list of impairments that qualify for Social Security disability payments. Additionally, a person might qualify for disability for other conditions on a case-by-case basis. 

There are also income limits for Social Security disability. The income limits are adjusted each year. 

How Do I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

You must apply for SSDI benefit payments by filing an application with the Social Security Administration. In addition, you must meet the income, disability, and other requirements for benefits. 

For example, you must have worked and earned a specific number of work credits to receive SSDI payments. The number of work credits you must have will depend on your age and when you become disabled. 

Because applying for SSDI can be a complicated and time-consuming process, many people retain a Lebanon Social Security disability lawyer to handle the application process. A disability lawyer can also help you if you have been denied Social Security disability benefits and need to appeal a denial.

If you’ve been injured in a social security disability, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963