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What month will I get the COLA increase for the 2023 adjustment?

On Thursday the Social Security Administration will outline the annual boost for benefits recipients, with experts predicting a huge increase.

When will the 2023 COLA increase arrive?
Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty ImagesAFP via Getty Images

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is expected to announce the 2023 annual adjustment later this week, with experts predicting the largest increase for 40 years.

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is introduced each year by the SSA to ensure that benefits payments increase roughly in line with inflation. Over the past year the United States has recorded sustained levels of high inflation, at an annualised rate of 8.3% at the last count.

But while the SSA will likely announce the 2023 COLA figure on Thursday 13 October, the increase will not take affect for another three months.

The first boosted payments will arrive in January 2023. These payments, however, will actually be the December 2022 run of benefits.

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On what date will I get the COLA increase?

The first boosted payments will land in January, but the distribution process will be staggered. Social Security is the most widely-used form of federal financial support in the United States and it requires a mammoth administrative effort to send out around 70 million payments each month.

Distribution of the payments in done in three waves, based on the recipient’s birth date:

- 1st-10th of the month: Payments will arrive on the second Wednesday of the month (11 January)

- 11th-20th of the month: Payments will arrive on the third Wednesday of the month (18 January)

- 21st-31st of the month: Payments will arrive on the fourth Wednesday of the month (25 January)

How much extra will I receive from the 2023 COLA increase?

The annual COLA increase is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures recorded in the third quarter of the previous year. The CPI is a combination of various products and services and is used as a measure of price rises over the past 12 months.

The first two CPI figures from the third quarter of 2022 – July and August – were at 8.5% and 8.3%. This rate of increase is one of the highest seen in decades and experts are predicting the highest COLA increase since 1981.

Advocacy group The Senior Citizens League (SCL) has estimated a COLA increase for 2023 of 8.7%, which would equate to a $144.10 increase for the average retiree.

The SCL has released a statement explaining: “Without a COLA that adequately keeps pace with inflation, Social Security benefits purchase less and less over time, and that can create hardships especially as older Americans live longer lives in retirement.”

Last year’s increase of 5.9% was the highest for decades, but it has proved insufficient for Social Security beneficiaries struggling to pay for essentials as inflation has pushed up prices further. The SSA will want to avoid a repeat in 2023 and will offer a significant increase for recipients this time around.


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