Each year, Social Security benefits are recalibrated with a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. Retirees' checks went up 5.9% this year, reflecting ongoing economic instability. The bump for 2023, though, is expected to be even larger -- potentially the largest since 1981.
The adjustment is based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index, the change in prices for goods and services, for the third quarter of the year before. The CPI hit 8.5% in July and 8.3% in August.
In a briefing today, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre cited analysts who forecast an increase of $140 per month, on average, equal to about 8.5% more than the average monthly check for 2022.
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When will the Social Security Administration announce the COLA increase for 2023?
The 2023 Social Security COLA will be announced Thursday, the same day the US Bureau of Labor Statistics will releases CPI information for September 2022.
How much could Social Security benefits increase in 2023?
With the CPI for August now available, the nonprofit Senior Citizens League has predicted a COLA increase of 8.7%. That's more modest than its claim of 10% earlier in the year, but slightly more than the 8.5% the White House is suggesting.
Either figure would be the largest increase since 1981, when the COLA was 11.2%.
When will I see the increase in my Social Security check?
The annual increase goes into effect with December benefits, which appear in checks dated January 2023.
Social Security payments follow a rollout schedule based on the beneficiary's birth date: If you were born from the first day through the 10th day of the month, your benefits are paid on the second Wednesday of the month.
If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th, your check is paid on the third Wednesday, so you'll see your first COLA increase on Jan. 18, 2023.
Retirees born between the 21st and the last day of the month receive benefits on the fourth Wednesday. In that instance, your first increase would appear on Jan. 25, 2023.
Beneficiaries should then receive letters detailing their specific benefit rate in December. You can also check your rate on the My Social Security website.