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The First COLA Increase Comes to SSI Beneficiaries This Week

Next year's cost-of-living adjustment arrives at the end of December for Supplemental Security Income recipients.

Six $100 bills fanned out against a green background
SSI beneficiaries get their first increased check in December.
Sarah Tew/CNET

To counteract the effects of inflation on Social Security benefits, each year the Social Security Administration alters its cost-of-living adjustment. Thanks to 2022's high levels of inflation, next year's adjustment brings an 8.7% increase to Social Security recipients. Unlike Social Security or Social Security Disability Income recipients, Supplemental Security Income recipients will receive their first check with their 2023 cost-of-living adjustment increase to arrive this week. This check is in addition to the one they received at the beginning of December. So, why are SSI beneficiaries getting two checks this month? We'll explain below. 

Not sure how much of a benefit bump you're getting? Check your My Social Security account message center for a notice about your new benefit amount. If you didn't meet the Nov. 15 deadline for creating an account, keep an eye out for a letter in the mail with all the details about your increase.

Everyone else who receives Social Security payments will get their first check in January 2023. Here's why you're getting your first increased payment in December if you receive SSI and when you can expect it. For more, here's the Social Security payment schedule and Social Security Disability Insurance payment schedule. Also, here's how much Medicare premiums and deductibles will be in 2023.

Why am I getting an increase in my December SSI check?

The Social Security Administration has a strict schedule it follows when sending out monthly payments. For those who receive SSI, their payments are almost always sent out on the first of each month. 

There are two reasons why your payment wouldn't arrive on the first of any month: If the regular payment date falls on a holiday or a weekend.

In January 2023, the first of the month falls on a holiday and a weekend. When this happens, the administration sends the checks earlier on the nearest business day -- in this case, a Friday. So instead of receiving your January 2023 check in January, you'll get it in December of this year.

Stimulus money payments

You can check your COLA increase in December.

James Martin/CNET

When will I get my first COLA increase payment?

If you receive SSI, you'll get a payment on Dec. 30 with your new benefit amount. Since your first increased payment is scheduled for Jan. 1 (a holiday and weekend day), you're getting your first 2023 payment early. 

What if I receive both SSI and Social Security benefits?

If you also get Social Security benefits along with your SSI, you'll only get your increase for SSI in December. Your Social Security benefits increase will begin on Jan. 3, which falls on a Tuesday.

For more information, here's how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. Also, here's how to pause your Social Security benefits to potentially get a larger payment later.