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Run to the Bank: Your Social Security COLA Increase Might Be Coming

Social Security COLA
Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The first Social Security increases go into effect next week: Last year, the Social Security Administration announced the largest cost-of-living increase in nearly 30 years, revealing that beneficiaries of the program would receive a 5.9 percent bump thanks to rising inflation. Such payments are pegged to inflation, although there is some worry that even the big increase won’t do enough to offset that inflation.

“We are still going to see this tremendous problem with prices increasing faster than the COLA,”  Mary Johnson, Social Security, and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, told CBS News. ”Even with that 5.9% COLA, inflation through November was up 6.8% for the past 12 months, and it looks like economists are forecasting that may continue.” She added that some recipients might find that the increase isn’t enough to deal with rising bills.

In the meantime, many recipients are wondering when the new benefit amounts will go into effect. The answer is just a few days away, although that’s only for some beneficiaries.

According to CBS News, the change will go into effect on January 12 for those born between the 1st and the 10th of the month. For those born between the 11th and 20th, the date is January 19, while the date is January 26th for those born after the 20th of the month.

The average benefit increase, according to SSA, is $93 a month, with the average monthly benefit for an individual going from $1,565 to  $1,658.

Speaking of Social Security, Politifact this week debunked the claim by a progressive group, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, that former President Donald Trump had cut Social Security benefits by more than $3 billion.

“Trump cut Social Security benefits by over $3 BILLION, the post from last November said. “And his henchman Mitch McConnell continues to assault this critical institution.

Luckily, Progressives and Chuck Schumer have a plan in the Senate RIGHT NOW to expand Social Security by $200.00 per month”

The then-president did, at various times, propose taking actions that might have led to cuts in Social Security — including a proposed cut to the payroll tax — but such measures did not ever become law.

The proposal to add $200 a month in benefits, per an announcement back in March of 2020, has been backed by Schumer and some other Democrats around the time of the original pandemic stimulus. However, that proposal never became law either.

“Immediately increasing Social Security benefits would put money in the pockets of seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities during these uncertain times,” Chuck Schumer D-N.Y.), then the Senate Minority Leader, said at the time. “Senate Democrats are committed to quickly delivering relief to the millions of Americans bearing the weight of this public health crisis.”

 Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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