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Will everyone get the full amount of the Social Security COLA increase?

The Social Security Administration will announce the 2023 COLA this week. Who will it apply to?

Social Security benefits schedule July 2022
Kevin DietschAFP

On Wednesday, 12 October, the Social Security Administration is expected to release the 2023 Cost-of-living adjustment.

Next year’s COLA could be historic in size based on how inflation has rippled throughout the market over the last sixteen-or-so month. Energy resources, the prices of which have spiked in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but not for the reasons many think. In addition, to increased global demand after countries imposed import bans on Russian oil and gas, corporations have exploited the geopolitical crisis as a front to hike up prices for consumers. With the federal government left with little power to force corporations to increase production, President Biden has opted for relying on the national strategic reserve. But, if the war continues to drag on indefinitely, this is an extremely unsustainable solution, particularly as exports increase to record levels.

These moves by energy companies have had a disproportionate impact on senior citizens, many of whom are on a fixed income. This comes as the Senior Citizens League (SCL) points out that even with the yearly COLA, seniors have lost around forty percent of their purchasing power since the early 2000s.

When estimating this year’s increase, the SCL estimated that “based on the most recent consumer price data released today, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2023 could be around 8.6 percent.” However, since May, when the report was released, the rate at which inflation was increasing has slowed, meaning that the COLA could clock in a bit lower.

When will the COLA increase go live?

Not only those who receive social security benefits will receive the COLA, rather all those who receive benefits from the various programs administered by the SSA will see the COLA applied to their checks. This includes Supplemental Security Income as well as Social Security Disability Insurance. Since 1982, the COLA increases have been effective with benefits payable for December, which means that recipients will start to see the increased payments from January onwards.


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