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COLA: What does inflation mean for social security benefits?

Between Oct. of 2020 and Oct. of 2021, people have started paying 6.2% more for everyday things. This includes food, gas, and utilities. Those on a fixed income are really feeling the impact.

Between Sept. and Oct. there was an overall growth of .9%.

The average social security recipient lives off of $1,543 per month, and as prices around them rise, their income stays the same.


The COLA was raised 5.9% for 2022 in an attempt help beneficiaries keep up with the cost of inflation. Unfortunately, inflation has only continued to rise at a rapid pace.

As retirees try to keep up with rising costs, some are eating only one meal per day or cutting their medications in half to prolong them.

Before the inflation started impacting the cost of food, 5.2 million seniors reported that they were impacted by food insecurity.


One option is for seniors to apply for SNAP benefits. To qualify a single person must make $1,287 per month and two people must make $1,726.

Many would like to see COLA readjusted now that the fourth quarter of the year is only seeing higher rates of inflation. That’s unfortunately not an option.

Lawmakers may introduce a bill to change that, but it has not happened yet.

Related: COLA: Social Security disability payments in 2022



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