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2024 COLA Increases

It’s a new year, which means changes in Social Security benefits for 72 million recipients. You’ve probably already received a couple of checks by now, which should have resulted in higher deposits in your bank account. Today, we want to outline those benefits so you can make adjustments to your budget if needed.

COLA stands for cost-of-living adjustment. Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) adjusts benefits based on current inflation. COLA is not the same every year, and this year was one of the smallest bumps in the last few years due to a slowing inflation rate.

Starting in January of this year, Social Security recipients saw a 3.2% increase in benefits. (Benefits changed in December, but you likely didn’t see a check until January.) In comparison, last year, we saw a historic increase of 8.7%, which was due to soaring inflation.

With the 3.2% increase, the average benefit check will increase by $49, for a total of $1,907 per check.

Person being handed a Social Security check with the 2024 COLA increase

2024 Social Security Payment Dates

You can find a more detailed schedule of payments on the Social Security website, but here is a general idea of when you can expect to see benefits come through unless you are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in which case you may get your payment earlier.

December 29, 2023: New COLA benefits begin. 

January 3, 2024: If you started getting Social Security benefits before May of 1997 or get both SS and SSI benefits, you’ll see the new COLA in your December 29 check and your payment on January 3.

January 10, 2024: If your birthday is between the 1st and the 10th of your birth month, that is when you will get your first check with the new COLA benefit. For example, if your birthday is on July 1, you’ll be paid on the first.

January 17, 2024: If your birthday is between the 11th and 20th days of your birth month, you’ll get the COLA benefit on that day.

January 24, 2024: If your birthday is between the 21st and the 31st of your birth month, your new benefit will be paid on that day.

2024 Social Security Benefit Amounts

Social Security benefits aren’t the same for everyone - it depends on your benefit level, which is based on your income while working and other things like your age and when you started claiming benefits. Regardless of those factors, you can expect to receive the 3.2% COLA increase in 2024.

If you aren’t sure what your benefits are, you can log in to your mySocialSecurity account and view the benefits letter. However, only those who signed up for mySocialSecurity prior to November 14 will be able to view the letter online.

History of COLA

We may not have seen a significant increase in the 2024 COLA, but it’s actually quite a bit better than it has been in previous years. Let’s look at those numbers over the last decade.

  • January 2014: 1.5%

  • January 2015: 1.7%

  • January 2016: 0.0%

  • January 2017: 0.3%

  • January 2018: 2.0%

  • January 2019: 2.8%

  • January 2020: 1.6%

  • January 2021: 1.3%

  • January 2022: 5.9%

  • January 2023: 8.7%

  • January 2024: 3.2%

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