Social Security cost of living adjustment gives hope, amid inflation, to those who rely on payments

The cost of living adjust for recipients for 2023 is set at 8.7 percent
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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BELLMEAD, Texas (KWTX) - The Social Security Administration this week announced it plans to to implement to largest cost of living adjustment (COLA) in more than four decades for recipients starting next year.

An 8.7 percent increase is set to begin in January 2023 for the millions of Americans receiving monthly Social Security benefits.

Michelle McMillin calculated her increase, but with inflation still knocking on the door, she’s worried the extra breathing room won’t last long.

“Really [it’s] just going to catch me up for this year. You know, it’s helpful, but it’s not as glorious as it sounds,” said McMillin.

After being deemed legally disabled four years ago, she can no longer work.

In the past year, McMillin’s rent rose by $80. She is now paying an extra $30 to $40 a month for groceries, and her Medicare cost increased by $40.

At the end of the month, McMillin has less than $10 left for other expenses, including her emotional support cat, Sofie.

“I have $2 to cover the rest of the inflation going on this year. You know, food, electricity, anything,” said McMillin.

Despite rising Medicare costs this year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking to keep costs where they are going into next year.

Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up, allowing for more peace of mind.

In a statement to KWTX, the Social Security Administration said, “This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in over a decade that Medicare premiums are not rising and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans who count on the benefits they have earned.”

“At that point, it might be more of a benefit than it is now. Now it’s simply just to pay the bills,” said McMillin when told the Medicare premiums are expected to go down.

Once the new adjustment kicks in, she hopes to make it back home for a Kansas City Chief’s game or maybe some shoe shopping, her favorite activities.