Social Security benefits could rise for decades in 2023: The Senior Citizens League

Social Security could rise next year, according to The Senior Citizens League. (iStock)

Although inflation improved slightly in July, Social Security could still see its highest rise in decades in 2023, according to the latest forecast from The Senior Citizens League.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation, rose 8.5% a year in July. This was slightly down from 9.1% in June, but remains near a 40-year high.

As inflation remains high, the average cost of living (COLA) is projected to reach 9.6% by 2023, the highest level since 1981, according to The Senior Citizens League. If inflation continues to rise in the coming months, COLA could reach 10.1% next year. While if inflation continues to slow, it could move closer to 9.3%.

This would increase the current average retirement benefit of $1,656 by $159 per month, according to the seniors group.

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Social security increase in 2023 may be decided soon

How inflation behaves in the coming months will determine Social Security benefits for 2023. There are only two months of consumer price data left to be released before the Social Security Administration makes its announcement about next year’s benefits in mid-October, according to The Senior Citizens League.

“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% COLA,” according to the Senior Citizens League .

The group said this year’s benefits left consumers an average of about $58 a month short, given recent inflation levels.

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More seniors get help with low income

In a new survey from The Senior Citizens League, about 37% of participants reported receiving low-income assistance in 2021. This is significantly higher than the 16% who received needs-based aid before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the US Census Bureau.

“This suggests that the pandemic and inflation have led to 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.

But while an increase in COLA means higher benefits for Social Security recipients, it can also disqualify them from some form of low-income assistance. In 2022, when Social Security checks rose by 5.9%, about 14% of seniors saw their low-income benefits cut, according to the survey.

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