The Social Security Administration announced Oct. 17 that seniors will receive an additional 2.3 percent in their Social Security checks beginning in January 2008, representing the lowest cost-of-living adjustment in four years.
The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit will increase by $24, to $1,079. The adjustment, based on the rise in the consumer price index in the third quarter, directly affects the finances of about 48 million people, including Social Security retirees and 11 million people who receive disability or other supplemental income from the Social Security Administration.
Despite the increase, at least five million people age 65 and older will remain in poverty, according to a recent study by The Senior Citizens League (www.seniorsleague.org), one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors groups. TSCL says this is because costs are rising significantly faster than the annual Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Between 2001 and 2008, Medicare Part B premiums will have soared by more than 93 percent while the COLA will have increased just 19 percent, leaving many seniors on their own to cover all other rising costs.