Social Security boost: Benefits increasing by 8.7%

Millions of Americans will see their Social Security benefits increase by 8.7% beginning in 2023, amounting to the largest increase in more than four decades, officials with the Social Security Administration announced Thursday.

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The cost-of-living adjustment will see payments to the about 70 million Americans who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income rise by more than $140 each month starting in January. More than 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin seeing increased payments on Dec. 30, 2022, officials said.

The raise is the highest cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, since 1981, when the increase was 11.2%, according to The New York Times. Officials last month announced a 3% cut in the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, meaning that retirees will feel the full impact of the benefits increase announced Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

“Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up in 2023, which will give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room,” Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration, said Thursday in a statement. “This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in over a decade that Medicare premiums are not rising and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans who count on the benefits they have earned.”

The announcement came after officials said that consumer prices rose by 0.4% in September, amounting to an 8.2% increase over the last 12 months before seasonal adjustment. The rising prices of shelter, food and medical care were among the contributors for the figure, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments are adjusted annually based on the cost-of-living “to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security benefits and SSI payments is not eroded by inflation,” according to officials.

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