By Leada Gore
Slight cooling of inflationary rates has pushed the projected increase for Social Security beneficiaries below the double-digit figures predicted just a month ago. The exact amount of the increase will be announced in just a few weeks.
The latest update predicts a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, of 8.7%, almost a full percentage point lower than estimates from a month before, according to tracking from the Senior Citizens League. While lower than projected, an 8.7% raise is rare and would be the highest ever received by most Social Security beneficiaries alive today, adding roughly $144.10 to the average retiree benefits.
Yearly COLAs are determined by data reported in the Consumer Price Index – the year-over-year change in prices for goods and services – in July, August and September. According to CNET, CPI data is released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the second week of the month.
The CPI for September, the final piece of data needed for the calculation, will be announced Oct. 13 and the amount of the increase should come shortly after, possibly even the same day.
The increase will go into effect with December benefits on checks dated January 2023. Social Security benefits are issued on a rollout basis based on beneficiary’s birth date. People born from the first day through the 10th day of the month receive benefits on the second Wednesday of the month; beneficiaries with birthdays between the 11th and the 20th are paid on the third Wednesday. Retirees born between the 21st and the last day of the month are paid on the fourth Wednesday.