In an announcement made on October 12, the Social Security Administration (SSA) revealed that the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) will be 3.2% for the coming year. This bump will impact various types of beneficiaries differently, depending on their family situations.
According to the SSA, retirees can expect an average increase of more than $50 per month in their benefits.
Key Beneficiaries of the New COLA Rates
Widows or widowers with two children stand to benefit the most from the new COLA rates. Their monthly Social Security check will rise to $3,653, up from the current $3,540. This group is followed closely by elderly couples who both receive benefits; their monthly checks will grow from $2,939 to $3,033.
Disabled workers, along with a spouse and one or more children, will experience an increase to $2,720, a marginal rise from their current $2,636 monthly benefits.
Impact on Other Beneficiaries
Widows and widowers without children are next on the list. Their checks will increase from $1,718 to $1,773. Meanwhile, all retired workers will see their monthly benefits go up from $1,848 to $1,907. Interestingly, there is no change in the monthly benefits for disabled workers; their amount remains constant at $1,489.
Payment Timeline and Registration Details
While most Social Security recipients can expect to see the first increased payment in January, there is an exception for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Due to calendar shifts brought on by the holiday season, these individuals are slated to receive their adjusted checks in late December. The Administration plans to start the mailing process on December 29.
If you wish to receive electronic updates on COLA adjustments, the quickest method is to use the “My Social Security” tool. Registration for this system is open until November 14 for those who haven’t completed the online process yet. For anyone who chooses not to set up an account on the platform, a notice will be sent by mail detailing the increase.
The Underpinning Metrics
Every year, the Social Security COLA is determined based on inflation data released by the Department of Labor. This year’s adjustment will certainly bring varying degrees of financial relief across the board, but it’s evident that widows and widowers with children are the most significantly impacted.