Inflation has increased the cost of living dramatically and Social Security recipients should be seeing an annual increase to reflect that.
But how much will the COLA be and when will it be determined?
Social Security: How much will my benefit be if funding runs out?
Social Security payments could increase
The Consumer Price Index is a tool used to measure the rate of inflation. In July, the rate of inflation reached 8.5%. This is actually an improvement from June’s rate, which reached 9.1%. In turn, the cost of living has increased dramatically. Each year, Social Security beneficiaries get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to reflect that.
If inflation continues to increase, the COLA could be up to 10.1%. But if inflation decreases the adjustment will likely be 9.3% instead.
There are still two months to wait until the consumer price data is released. After that the Social Security Administration will make calculations and announce the COLA.
The Senior Citizens League also reported that this year the benefits were $58 short, because of the rapid increase in cost of living.
Additional low-income assistance for seniors
The Senior Citizens League also conducted a survey that found around 37% of participants reported receiving low-income assistance in 2021. This number is a significant increase from the 16% that received need-based assistance before the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused more adults to live on a fixed income. In turn, people turn to other programs to supplement their Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Although a 9.3%-10.1% possible sounds nice, keep in mind that the additional income could disqualify you from some low-income assistance programs.