Some 70 million Americans receive Social Security benefits. Each year, the amount of money they get in their checks is changed by a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, based on the state of the economy the year prior.
Rising inflation in 2021 resulted in the 2022 COLA being a sizable 5.9% increase, the highest in years. This year, the typical retiree has received monthly checks for about $1,666.
With the economy continuing to struggle, the increase for 2023 is expected to be even higher, potentially the largest boost since 1981, when the COLA was a record 11.2%.
But when will we find out what it is? Read on to find out.
When will I find out how much my Social Security benefits are increasing next year?
The COLA is determined by data reported in the Consumer Price Index — the year-over-year change in prices for goods and services — for July, August and September.
CPI data is released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on the 13th of the month. On Sept. 13, for example, the agency reported inflation in August was at 8.3%, a slight decline from July’s 8.9%.
As a result, the Social Security Administration doesn’t announce what the COLA increase will be until October, after its evaluated the September numbers.
In 2021, the bureau announced September’s CPI and the annual COLA increase on the same day. If the agency holds to that pattern this year, we should know how much next year’s Social Security benefits will increase on Oct. 13.
How much could Social Security benefits increase in 2023?
With the CPI for August now available, the nonprofit Senior Citizens League has predicted a COLA increase of 8.7%. That would work out to an additional $144 a month for most recipients.
That’s among the more conservative estimates, though. In an Aug. 30 Marketwatch column, Alicia H. Munnell, director of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, predicted the boost would be 8.9% on the lowest end and 9.5% on the upper end.
A 9% bump would add about $150 to checks every month.
When will I see the increase in my Social Security check?
The annual increase goes into effect with December benefits, which appear in checks dated January 2023.
Social Security payments follow a rollout schedule based on the beneficiary’s birth date: If you were born from the first day through the 10th day of the month, your benefits are paid on the second Wednesday of the month.
If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th, your check is paid on the third Wednesday, so you’ll see your first COLA increase on Jan. 18, 2023.
Retirees born between the 21st and the last day of the month receive benefits on the fourth Wednesday. In that instance, your first increase would appear on Jan. 25, 2023.
Beneficiaries should then receive letters detailing their specific benefit rate in December.You can also check your rate on the My Social Security website.
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