- The United States increased social security benefits by 8.7% for 2023.
- The average beneficiary will receive an additional $140 per month starting in January 2023.
- The cost of living adjustment is the largest in more than 40 years.
Millions of Social Security beneficiaries will get an 8.7% increase in their benefits in 2023, a historical raise but a gain that will be reduced in part by the higher cost of daily life, according to The Associated Press.
The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), the largest in more than 40 years, means the average beneficiary will receive an extra $140 a month starting in January, the Social Security Administration said Thursday.
Is the increase in Social Security benefits enough?
While Social Security recipients welcomed the increase in benefits, many said it wasn’t enough to cover the impact of inflation. «It’s not very helpful,» said Shirley Parker, 85, who lives in Chatham, on Chicago’s south side.
Home maintenance costs and high grocery prices are slashing her budget. “The food is ridiculous. I walk out with a bag full of groceries, 50 bucks, I have about 10 items,» she said.
What is COLA?
The Social Security COLA was established to help seniors and other beneficiaries manage the higher cost of food, fuel, and other goods and services. Its performance depends on inflation in the future.
In fact, a separate government report on Thursday, October 13, 2022, showed that inflation was recently accelerating. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in September after just 0.1 percent in August and has risen 8.2 percent in the past 12 months. Applications for unemployment benefits increased during the week.
What will the Social Security check amount to?
The Social Security Administration said the estimated average monthly Social Security benefit for all retired workers will be $1,827 starting in January 2023, according to an agency fact sheet.
The increase in Social Security benefits will be combined with a 3% reduction in Medicare Part B premiums, meaning retirees will get the full impact of the Social Security increase.
Biden committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare
«This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in more than a decade that Medicare premiums have not increased and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans with the benefits they’ve earned» said Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Kilolo Kijakazi.
AARP spokesman Colby Nelson said the increased benefits «will provide much-needed relief to millions of Americans.» He called the annual cost-of-living increase «more crucial than ever, as high inflation remains a problem for older Americans.» President Joe Biden has pledged to protect both Social Security and Medicare. «I will make them stronger,» he said last month. “And I will reduce their cost so that I can maintain them.”