Why October 12 is a big day for Social Security recipients


Seniors on Social Security were thrown a major bone at the start of 2023 when their benefits rose 8.7%. That cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, was the largest one to arrive in decades, and it was spurred by the rampant inflation that plagued consumers throughout 2022.

At this point, Social Security recipients are really eager to know what 2024's COLA will look like. And they won't have to sit tight too much longer.

On Oct. 12, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release September's Consumer Price Index (CPI). That report will include data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a subset of the CPI.

Once that information comes in, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be able to calculate a COLA for 2024. It typically makes that announcement right away, which means that come Oct. 12, Social Security recipients should be in the know. But whether they end up happy with next year's COLA is a different story.

A smaller raise is expected

Let's get one thing out of the way – 2024's Social Security COLA won't come close to the raise seniors received at the start of 2023. At this point, 2024 COLA estimates are generally coming in within the 3% to 3.5% range.

Historically speaking, that's actually not so low for a COLA. Rather, it's that seniors' most recent point of comparison is 8.7%, so a raise in the 3% range is apt to seem stingy, even if it's not.

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