The 69 million Americans who collect Social Security are on track to get the biggest cost-of-living hike since 1983, with one advocacy group for senior citizens projecting a 6.1% increase to benefits due to surging inflation.
Recipients will have to wait for that bump because the Social Security Administration adjusts its payments only once a year, starting with December benefits that are paid in January. That means seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries wouldn’t receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) until January 2022.
Some seniors are struggling with higher inflation, which is eating into the buying power of their benefit checks. Some retirees have shared that they have cut back on necessities, including meals, because of the rising costs of medical care and other expenses. Economists predict that inflation could slow later this year, but that depends partly on supply bottlenecks easing.
The Social Security Administration will announce its annual COLA adjustment in October, which is based on the average rate of inflation over the prior three months. To be sure, inflation could recede during the summer and early fall, potentially resulting in a lower COLA rate for 2022 than the Senior Citizens League is forecasting.