The COLA is one of the best things that can happen to United States Social Security retirees. While it may seem insufficient at times, it is still useful because it balances, in part, the scales in terms of expenses and income.
The inflation of the last few years is taking its toll on United States households, especially those with only the Social Security benefit as a source of income.
And that’s why the COLAplays a key role in family planning. While it’s not a good idea to count on this increase, since we don’t know how big it will be, we can certainly keep it in mind for the future.
At the beginning of each year, Social Security checks increase due to the COLA. And it is because of this increase that retirees do not lose as much purchasing power. It is certainly a good option for those who need a little help.
Although the exact figure is not yet known, experts, such as The Senior Citizens League, talk about 3%. This increase would bring the average benefit from $1,825 per month to $1,879 per month, increasing each payment by an average of $54.
HOW IS THE SOCIAL SECURITY COLA CALCULATED?
To calculate the COLA increase in each year, the increase in the CPI-W for the third quarter is taken into account. This means that inflation in the months of July, August and September are key to how much money Social Security checks will increase.
The 2023 increases are compared to the 2024 increases. After that calculation we get the estimated COLA increase for next year. While it is true that we are dealing with an efficient system, it can be unfair at times.
This is because inflation continues to rise before the end of the year, so the Social Security check may be insufficient if we don’t take into account all the increases in prices.
WHICH PENSIONERS CAN GET THE PENSION INCREASE?
Any and all SSA benefit recipients get the COLA increase. In addition, not only pensioners with an age retirement pension. Disability beneficiariesalso get the check, as well as any other type of retiree.
Likewise, Supplemental Security Incomerecipients can also get this increase. Best of all, the increase is automatic, so we don’t have to apply for anything. Starting with the first of the 2024 payments, we will have the increase added to our Social Security check, regardless of the type of benefit we have.
All in all, fighting inflation is a little fairer for Social Security beneficiaries after the COLA increase. Still, for some it may not be enough, so it may be a good idea to look for some extra income.