Social Security 2023: This is where the 8.7% increase in benefits begins

(NEXSTAR) — Millions of seniors in America will see the amount they receive in monthly Social Security benefits rise, starting in January.

The increase in payments is the largest in decades at 8.7%, and is designed to help offset high inflation that would have limited the purchasing power of recipients.

The amplification of benefits is aptly called a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. On average, your Social Security benefits will increase in January by more than $140 per month, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

So when do the new benefits start?

People receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will receive two payments in December of this year. Since the last day of December is a Saturday, the Social Security Administration wants to make sure that people who rely on checks, which are usually paid on the first of each month, don’t have to wait until the first business day in January.

“We do this to avoid financial harm to you and to make sure you don’t have to wait until after the first of the month to get your payment,” the Social Security Administration says on its website. “Yes it is Not It means that you receive a duplicate payment in the previous month, so you do not need to contact us to report the second payment.

For Social Security recipients, not everyone will see the higher payments hit their bank accounts at the same time.

The SSA makes payments based on the beneficiaries’ birthdays.

If you were born between the first and 10th of the month, you will receive your check on the second Wednesday of each month. If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th, you will receive it on the third Wednesday. On any other date, you will receive your check on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

In January, for example, COLA recipients with early birth dates will receive their check on the second Wednesday of the month, January 13th. Do you have a birthday between 11 and 20? You’ll see a hike in your Social Security benefits on January 18th. Recipients with birthdates between the 21st and the end of the month will see their check on January 25th.

Finally, for people who got Social Security before May 1997 or who got both Social Security and SSI, the payment date will be January 3.

The COLA bump will go to more than 65 million eligible Social Security beneficiaries who are 62 or older. The extra benefit is permanent, and because it’s a percentage increase, the next COLA increase will double the increase.

This increase is long overdue for many who have suffered from inflation driving up the prices of essential goods and services in 2022, according to the Senior Citizens Association.

The group estimates that from January to December, the past inflation rate was 5.9% below the actual inflation rate each month averaging 46%, or $42 per month and over $508 for the year.

“You know things are bad when we hope Santa leaves coal in our stockings,” said Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League. “When sending warm wishes to family or friends in need, try adding gift certificates for home heating oil, natural gas, or electricity. An electric heated mattress pad or cozy fleece base layers will give you the hug of a lifetime.”

Everyone from the richest Americans to the most vulnerable will get the same increase in benefits.

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