2024 Social Security COLA Update: Key Dates and Benefit Increases

In a significant development for the 72 million Social Security recipients in the United States, the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is set to bring a 3.2% increase in monthly benefits. This adjustment, though the smallest in the past three years, is a response to the cooling inflation rate and contrasts sharply with the 8.7% increase in 2023, which was a response to the highest inflation in four decades.

Detailed Breakdown of the 2024 COLA Implementation

The Social Security Administration has outlined the specifics of how and when the new COLA will be applied to benefit checks:

  1. Initial Increase for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients:
    • December 29, 2023: SSI recipients, totaling around 7.5 million, will see the benefits increase from this date. Typically, SSI payments are issued on the first of each month, but due to the New Year holiday, the increased payment for January will be distributed on the last Friday of December 2023.
  2. Social Security Payment Adjustments:
    • January 3, 2024: Recipients who started claiming Social Security before May 1997, or those receiving both Social Security and SSI benefits, will receive their adjusted Social Security payment on this date.
    • January 10, 2024: Those with birthdays from the 1st to the 10th of the month will receive their first benefit check with the new COLA.
    • January 17, 2024: Recipients with birthdays from the 11th to the 20th will see the increase in their checks.
    • January 24, 2024: Those with birthdays from the 21st to the end of the month will receive their adjusted benefits.

Understanding Your Benefit Increase

The exact increase in your Social Security check will depend on your current benefit level, which is influenced by factors like your earnings history and the age at which you first claimed Social Security. On average, the increase will be about 3.2% higher than the December check. Social Security has begun notifying recipients of their new benefit amount through letters sent in early December. Those with a mySocialSecurity account can also view their COLA notice online.

Historical Context of COLA Adjustments

The 2024 COLA of 3.2% is higher than many previous years but lower than the increases seen in 2022 and 2023. Here’s a quick look at the COLA adjustments over the past decade:

  • January 2014: 1.5%
  • January 2015: 1.7%
  • January 2016: 0.0%
  • January 2017: 0.3%
  • January 2018: 2.0%
  • January 2019: 2.8%
  • January 2020: 1.6%
  • January 2021: 1.3%
  • January 2022: 5.9%
  • January 2023: 8.7%
  • January 2024: 3.2%

This article, originally by Aimee Picchi for CBS News, provides a comprehensive overview of the upcoming changes in Social Security benefits due to the 2024 COLA

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