Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans increased 3.2% this year. On average, Social Security retirement benefits increased by more than $50 per month starting in January 2024.
More than 66 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) beginning in January. Increased payments to approximately 7.5 million people receiving SSI began on Dec. 29, 2023. (Some people receive both SS and SSI benefits.)
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase from $160,200 to $168,600.
SS began notifying people about their new benefit amount by mail starting in early December 2023. Individuals who have a personal my Social Security (ssa.gov/myaccount) account can view their COLA notice online, which is secure, easy and faster than receiving a letter in the mail. You can set up text or email alerts when there is a new message — such as their COLA notice — waiting for them in my Social Security. (You must have set up an account by Nov. 14, 2023, to see your COLA notice online.)
Information about Medicare changes for 2024 is available at medicare.gov. For SS beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, new 2024 benefit amounts became available to them in December 2023 through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.
The increase is aimed at helping to cover the rising cost of food, housing, healthcare and other essentials, otherwise known as inflation. The purpose of COLA is to ensure that the purchasing power of SS and SSI benefits is not eroded by inflation. The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last year’s COLA increase was 8.7%, when inflation reached a 40-year high.
The benefits increase “will help millions of people keep up with expenses,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of Social Security.
For questions, online applications or to make an appointment, call between 7am–5pm, Mon–Fri:1-800-772-1213 (toll free) | socialsecurity.gov
SSA COLA: ssa.gov/cola
SSA Full Retirement Age Chart:
2023 Medicare Changes: medicare.gov