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Social Security Benefit Increase and Its Wider Impact on Federal Programs



Social Security Benefit Increase and Its Wider Impact on Federal Programs

Social Security Benefit Increase and Its Wider Impact on Federal Programs. Social Security beneficiaries can anticipate a significant increase in their payments for the year 2024 due to the rising inflation. The recent data from August, as reported by the Senior Citizens League, indicates that the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security is expected to be 3.2%.

Annually, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the COLA based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, comparing the third quarter of the previous year to the third quarter of the current year.

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Anticipated COLA Increase for 2024

Given the consistent annual CPI increases, a COLA-driven payment increase is expected, as has been the case since 2022. The exact amount of the 2024 Social Security COLA will be officially disclosed on October 12th, coinciding with the release of the final inflation figures for the third quarter of 2023.

In the following sections, we will provide an estimate of the expected increase in your Social Security payments for the upcoming year.

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Impact of the 2024 COLA Increase on Social Security Payments

Additionally, detailed information on the Social Security payment schedule and the payment schedule for Social Security Disability Insurance can be found in the following sections.

The expected COLA increase is set at 3.2%, and below are the anticipated average payment adjustments for 2024 based on recipient groups:

  1. Retiree: An average monthly increase of $58, resulting in an average 2024 check amount of $1,885.
  2. Worker with Disabilities: An average monthly increase of $47, leading to an average 2024 payment of $1,530.
  3. Senior Couple, Both Receiving Benefits: An expected monthly increase of $95, resulting in an average 2024 combined payment of $3,067.
  4. Widow(er): An average monthly increase of $55, leading to an average 2024 payment of $1,759.
  5. Widow(er) with Two Children: Anticipated to receive an average monthly increase of $113, resulting in an average 2024 payment of $3,633.

Please note that the exact COLA figure for 2024 will be officially determined by the Social Security Administration in mid-October, based on inflation data between the third quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2023.

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Increased Social Security Payments from January 2024

Starting in January 2024, the COLA increase will be reflected in your monthly Social Security checks. The exact timing of this increase depends on your birth date and when you initially began receiving Social Security benefits:

  • If your birthday falls within the first to the 10th of the month, your payment will be dispatched on the second Wednesday of January 2024.
  • For individuals with birthdays between the 11th and 20th of the month, your payment will be sent out on the third Wednesday of January 2024.
  • If your birthday falls within the 21st to the 31st of the month, your payment will be issued on the fourth Wednesday of January 2024.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients generally receive their payments on the first day of each month, unless it coincides with a holiday or weekend.

However, if you began receiving Social Security benefits before May 1997, your payment should arrive on January 3, 2024.

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Impact on Other Federal Benefits and Programs

While Social Security retirement benefits are a well-known program influenced by COLA, several other federal benefits and programs are also affected. These include:

  1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A program for low-income elderly, blind, or disabled individuals, which is recalibrated annually in line with the COLA increase.
  2. Veterans Benefits: Veterans receiving disability compensation, pension benefits, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) witness adjustments in their payments due to the COLA increase.
  3. Railroad Retirement: Retired railroad workers and their survivors receive adjustments to benefits based on the COLA increase, similar to Social Security.
  4. Federal Retirees: This includes those under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), who receive annual COLA adjustments to their pension payments.
  5. Retired Members of the Armed Forces: Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard also experience COLA adjustments to their retirement pay.
  6. Medicare Premiums: While not a direct benefit increase, the COLA can influence the Medicare premiums paid by beneficiaries, potentially leading to higher Part B premiums.
  7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The COLA increase can also impact eligibility and benefit levels for programs like SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, as well as various state-based assistance programs.
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