As of today, the maximum check in the United States for Social Security benefits is $4,555. This figure is not for all beneficiaries, as you have to have a prior retirement plan if you want to reach such a large check every month.
However, the $4,555 benefit is not the maximum we will ever see, as each year Social Security payment dollars increase. This increase is done through the COLA, a system that studies inflation and price increases.
Experts have already started talking about the COLA of 2024, and it is a really important issue that should be on the minds of all American citizens. Apparently, it is very possible that we will face a disappointing COLA in the coming year 2024 due to the current situation.
The Senior Citizens League has made an initial estimate based on recent inflation and the trend of price increases. The total may be 3% increase in COLA 2024. This seems to be insufficient – as well as disappointing – although at the end of the day the Social Security increaseis made contingent on the year’s price increase so that retirees do not lose purchasing power.
How is the 2024 COLA calculated to increase Social Security?
Every year, the Social Security Administration increases retiree benefit checks based on the increase in prices. In order to make this calculation, the CPI for the months of July, August and September is reviewed. So the COLA is directly dependent on these three months to determine what the final increase will be.
From CBS MoneyWatch they pick up statements from Mary Johnson, Social Securitypolicy analyst at the Senior Citizens League. “Based on February inflation data, the COLA looks like it will be below 3% and could fall into the 2% or even lower range in the third quarter if the 12-month average continues to decline.”
While it is still too early to have exact figures for the 2024 COLA, we can already get an idea based on current price increases. “It’s important to remember that inflation was at a 40-year high in 2022,” said Mary Johnson. “For there to even be a COLA [in 2024], inflation would have to exceed that level.”
What exactly can we expect from the 2024 COLA?
For now, we can only wait to see what 2024 will bring with regard to the Social Security increase through the COLA. Still, expert Mary Johnson assured in her interview that we may not see too big of an increase. Therefore, we should remain excited, as we may possibly be in for an increase that will disappoint Americans.
Remember to also keep in mind that it is not until January of next year that we start to see the COLA increase. While it is true that the announcement is made in October, it is not until the first of the January checks that there is an increase in these benefits.
The Social Security Administration will have the announcement of the exact COLA increase figure in October of this year 2023. At that time we will know the amount of the increase in retiree benefits, Supplemental Security Income and the other checks sent out monthly by the Administration.
How much would the maximum SSA benefit be with the 3% increase in the 2024 COLA?
If ultimately the 2024 COLA is 3%, the increase in Social Security checks would not be very large. Considering that in 2023 the maximum retirement pension payment is $4,555 per month, in 2024 it would go to $4,691 per month.
Still, this is the maximum check, an amount that is not within everyone’s reach. Still, remember that absolutely all government benefits increase with the COLA, so even Supplemental Security Income would have an increase.
The current SSI payment is $914, so with the 3% increase it would go to about $941. While the check may not be huge, it should be enough to help the neediest Social Security users financially.