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What to Know about the Cost of Living Increase for Social Security Benefits

Feb. 20, 2023

As we enter the new year, there is good news for the beneficiaries of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a cost of living increase for these programs, which means that recipients can expect a little more money in their monthly checks.

For those who rely on these programs, the increase is certainly welcome news. However, it's important to understand what this increase means in real terms and how it impacts those who receive these benefits.

What is a cost of living increase?

The cost of living increase is an adjustment made to Social Security and SSI payments to account for the rising cost of living. The SSA adjusts benefits annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This index measures changes in the price of goods and services over time, and the cost of living increase is based on the percentage change in the CPI.

How much is the increase?

For 2023, the cost of living increase is 8.7%. This means that for every $100 in benefits, the average recipient will receive an additional $8.70. This may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference for those who rely on these programs to meet their basic needs..

How does this impact beneficiaries?

The cost of living increase is intended to help offset the rising cost of living, but it may not be enough for some beneficiaries. While the increase is certainly better than no increase at all, it may not be enough to cover the rising cost of healthcare, housing, and other expenses.

For some, the increase may not even keep up with the cost of inflation. For example, the cost of prescription drugs has been rising faster than the rate of inflation, which means that those who rely on these medications may find that their out-of-pocket expenses are increasing, even with the cost of living increase.

What can beneficiaries do?

For those who are struggling to make ends meet, there are a few options to consider. First, it's important to make sure that you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to. This may involve working with a social security disability lawyer to ensure that you're receiving the maximum benefit amount possible.

Second, it may be necessary to look for other sources of support. There are a number of programs that can help low-income individuals and families, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance programs, and energy assistance programs. These programs can provide additional support to help cover the cost of living.

Finally, it's important to consider ways to reduce expenses. This may involve cutting back on unnecessary expenses, finding ways to save money on essential items, or looking for ways to increase your income through part-time work or other means.

In conclusion, while the cost of living increase for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits is certainly good news for beneficiaries, it may not be enough to cover the rising cost of living for some. By exploring all available options and finding ways to reduce expenses, beneficiaries can ensure that they're getting the most out of their benefits and can maintain a decent standard of living.