Social Security COLA falls to 1.3% in 2021

Daniel Fowler
October 15, 2020

Worse yet, seniors could lose nearly half of their COLA increase to a rise in the Medicare Part B premium for 2021, the exact amount of which has not yet been announced.

For some examples of how the changes may affect them, see the fact sheet from the Social Security Administration.

But for Supplemental Security Income recipients, about 8 million people, the adjustment, known as COLA, will start in December of this year. And the maximum Social Security benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age will increase from $3,011 per month to $3,148, an additional $137.

The Medicare premium for 2021 has not been released yet, but there's been concern that some emergency actions the government took in response to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a big jump.

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In years when there is no inflation, there is no increase in benefits.

"There's a lot of uncertainty with regard to the effect of the coronavirus on the cost of the premium for next year", said Casey Schwarz, a policy expert with the Medicare Rights Center advocacy group. In the past, the costs of the unpaid portion of Medicare Part B premiums of those who were protected by hold harmless were shifted to those who were not protected by the provision. I hope others like me and those who have parents who receive monthly Social Security checks will join me in not voting for Trump. That's a little less than 2020′s 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment.

Larson supports passage of the Social Security 2100 Act, under which annual increases would instead be based on a "Consumer Price Index for the Elderly" that better reflects the amount seniors pay for certain necessities.

The higher payments will begin December 31, 2020 for more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries and in January 2021 for over 64 million people across the nation receiving Social Security. Couples will see $1,191 per month next year, up from $1,175. You can view your COLA notice online through your my Social Security account.

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