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What to know about the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment
Tens of millions of older Americans will see a modest increase in benefits in January when a new cost-of-living adjustment is added to Social Security payments
NEW YORK (AP) — Tens of millions of older Americans will see a modest increase in benefits this January when a new cost-of-living adjustment is added to Social Security payments.
The 3.2% raise is intended to help meet higher prices for food, fuel, and other goods and services. The average recipient will see an increase of about $54 per month, according to government estimates. That’s a smaller percentage than last year, because consumer prices have eased, and the COLA is tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
Still, Kathleen Romig, director of Social Security and Disability Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says increased Medicare premiums will “absorb a disproportionate share of the COLA for most people.” One premium is rising by an estimated 6%, or roughly $9.90 a month.
“Seniors and people with disabilities tend to spend a greater share of their incomes on health care, and medical prices are rising faster than overall inflation,” she said, adding that most people will still get higher benefit checks overall.