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"2024 Social Security COLA Increase: Announced This Week, Here's What We Know"

Social Security recipients may receive a significantly lower cost-of-living adjustment for 2024, with estimates around 3.2%. This increase may not be enough to sustain the cost of living for most beneficiaries. Medicare Part B premiums are also expected to increase. The official adjustment will be announced on Thursday.

The Social Security Administration is set to announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients this week. These adjustments are intended to help recipients maintain their purchasing power in the face of rising inflation. The COLA is determined using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which measures changes in prices for common consumer goods and services.

The Bureau of Labor releases a revised CPI-W each month, but only the data from July, August, and September are used to calculate the annual COLA adjustment. The final set of data, from September, will be published on October 12th.

According to projections from the Senior Citizen's League, the COLA for 2024 is expected to be around 3.2%. While this is significantly lower than the increases of 8.7% in 2023 and 5.9% in 2022, it would still be one of the largest increases in over a decade. However, the Senior Citizen's League warns that this increase would only add an extra $57 per month to the average recipient's benefit amount of $1,790, which may not be enough to cover the rising cost of living.

A recent study by the Senior Citizen's League found that retiree costs are rising at a faster pace than the COLA raises benefits. To maintain the same level of buying power as in 2000, the study suggests that a Social Security benefit of $1,969.80 per month would have been required in 2023.

In addition to the COLA adjustment, recipients also have to consider potential increases in Medicare Part B premiums. These premiums, which are automatically deducted from Social Security checks, are expected to rise by about $15, based on a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The official cost-of-living adjustment for 2024 will be announced by the Social Security Administration on Thursday. The increased benefits will be payable starting in January 2024 for Social Security recipients, while those receiving SSI will see their adjusted benefits at the end of December 2023.

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