The Social Security Administration announced in October 2022 a massive COLA boost. It was the largest in more than 40 years, so it was something many seniors had not expected after a series of low growth.
It meant getting a lot more money every month, which became essential after the pandemic and skyrocketing inflation. Not only SSI, retirement or SSDI benefits increased a lot, but also SNAP benefits.
However, inflation has not been as high as the prices of food or some services in 2023. So, even if inflation has calmed down, customers and beneficiaries feel that they do not have the same purchasing power.
2024 COLA WILL JUST BE 3.2%
As there will just be a 3.2% COLA increase, seniors will say goodbye to the 8.7% in 2023. Getting 5.5% less can be frustrating, especially when you have run out of emergency savings.
While retirees got 146 dollars extra per month on average, this boost is much smaller in 2024. Bear in mind that it will just be about 59 dollars, which is not bad but it may not be enough.
Some seniors have calculated the amount they need for their medical expenses and the COLA jump is just too low. What is more, if you are on disability benefits, the increase is not that much.
For example, if you get SSDI, the average increase is just 48 dollars. For your information, last year’s boost was 119 dollars. So it was more than double the 2024 COLA jump.
RETIREES ON SSI WILL ALSO GET A LOWER BOOST
Supplemental Security Income is for some retirees on low income too. Apart from seniors who meet the income requirements, adults with a disability may also qualify as well as blind people or even some children.
COLA will only give up to 29 dollars more per month to SSI recipients. As 29 can be the larger amount an increase could give recipients, most will get a lot less. So, it does sound as if it were even worse.
For example, if you get an average check worth 676.60 dollars, you will only receive about 21 dollars extra. Hence, it is of vital importance that you stick to a monthly budget. Otherwise, you can risk running out of money before the next SSI check with the 2024 COLA arrives.
Although there are some proposals to change the way the cost of living adjustment so that seniors can benefit from it, it has not changed so far. Undoubtedly, it is always best to think positively, getting a reduction would have been much worse. Save that extra money and make an emergency saving instead.