In January 2024, Social Security beneficiaries in the United States are set to receive a notable increase in their monthly payments, a response to the rising cost of living. This year, over 71 million Americans will see their Social Security checks grow by 3.2%, translating to an average increase of over $50 per month. This adjustment is part of the Social Security Administration’s effort to help recipients cope with escalating expenses, marking the third consecutive year of such increases due to inflation. The previous two years witnessed even larger hikes, with an 8.7% rise in 2023 and a 5.9% increase in 2022.
Both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will benefit from this increase. For those receiving both types of benefits, the cost-of-living adjustments will apply to each. As of November, the average monthly Social Security benefit stood at $1,711, while the average SSI benefit was $674. The new adjustment will add to these amounts.
The distribution of Social Security benefits is scheduled based on the recipient’s birth date. For instance, those born between the 1st and 10th of the month will receive their payments on the second Wednesday, with the first increased payment arriving on January 10. Those born between the 11th and 20th will get their payments on the third Wednesday, with the first increase on January 17. Finally, beneficiaries born between the 21st and 31st will receive their payments on the fourth Wednesday, with the increased amount starting on January 24.
SSI benefits are typically paid on the first of each month. However, due to January 1 being a federal holiday, the payments were distributed on the preceding Friday, allowing SSI recipients to see their first cost-of-living increase on December 29, 2023.
This update is crucial for millions of Americans who rely on these benefits, reflecting the government’s ongoing efforts to adjust to economic changes and ensure that Social Security and SSI recipients can maintain their purchasing power in the face of inflation.