lInflation has dramatically increased the cost of living with the consumer price index, an instrument used to measure inflation, indicating that inflation was 8.5 percent in July, up from 9.1 percent in June.
The rise has had a knock-on effect on the average cost of living (COLA) for 2023, which estimates the percentage of COLA could be 91 pc, the highest since 1981 according to The Senior Citizens League.
If inflation continues to climb, the COLA could rise to 10.1 percent, while a dip could reach 9.3 percent.
One group that will benefit from the increase in COLA are seniors and retirees whose benefits will increase by $159 per month or a total of $1,908 for the year, representing an annual increase of $252.
Social security can also go up
With two months to go before the consumer price data is released, the Social Security Administration will make an announcement in mid-October about next year’s benefits.
“A high COLA is eagerly anticipated to address an ongoing benefit shortfall experienced by Social Security beneficiaries in 2022 as inflation exceeds their 5.9 pc COLA,” according to the Senior Citizens League .
The group also reported that benefits received this year were $58 short given the recent rise in the cost of living.
More seniors can also receive assistance for a low income
The Senior Citizens League also conducted a survey that found that about 37 percent of participants reported receiving low-income assistance by 2021.
According to the US Census Bureau, the number was significantly higher than the 16 percent who received needs-based aid before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic and inflation have resulted in significantly more fixed-income adults turning to these programs to supplement their Social Security and Medicare benefits as prices have continued to rise,” the senior group said.
While a high COLA could mean higher benefits for Social Security recipients, it could at the same time disqualify them from receiving low-income benefits.