SOCIAL Security recipients can expect to receive their last payments of up to $4,194 hit their accounts today as September's schedule comes to a close.
The schedule for October is as follows:
- Second Wednesday: October 12
- Third Wednesday: October 19
- Fourth Wednesday: October 26
Taxpayers who also receive Social Security Disability Insurance follow the same payment schedule.
Read our COLA blog for more news and updates...
Cities hit the hardest by inflation
A study done by Wallet Hub found which cities have had the highest rates of inflation.
Comparing the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the data from two years ago for 25 metropolitan areas across the country.
The 10 cities that have faced the highest level of inflation are ranked below from highest to lowest:
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland
- Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota and Wisconsin
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
US federal firefighters face staffing shortage
US federal firefighters blame low staffing on low wages which are starting to drastically affect their ability to do their job.
Wildfires are becoming increasingly standard and the shortage of skilled labor is now becoming a major problem.
Kelly Ramsey, a former firefighter with the US Forest Service, told Al Jazeera, “the worse fires get and the more short-staffed crews become, the more trauma gets loaded onto firefighters.”
“The work is inherently dangerous, but it’s less safe if crews don’t have the resources they need,” Kelly added.
Can you claim both social security and SSDI?
An eligible individual cannot collect Social Security retirement and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) at the same time.
If you believe you qualify for both SSDI and SSI, you will want to compare the monthly benefits to see which one will give you the most money.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a government program that assists persons who are unable to earn enough money on their own.
Adults with disabilities, children with disabilities, and those aged 65 and over are eligible.
Individuals with sufficient job experience may be eligible for SSI payments in addition to disability or retirement benefits.
Likewise, individuals receive different amounts depending on their other sources of income and where they live.
When were SSI payments established?
Supplemental Security Income payments began in January 1974.
In the 50 states and the District of Columbia, SSI superseded the previous federal-state adult assistance programs.
Each person who qualifies for SSI receives a monthly cash payment based on a statutory federal benefit rate.
Since 1975, these rates have risen by the same amount as OASDI benefit cost-of-living adjustments.
Does everyone get the same SSI?
Not everyone gets the same SSI amount.
You may get more if you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment.
You may get less if you have other income such as wages, pensions, or Social Security benefits.
You may also get less if someone pays your household expenses or if you live with a spouse and he or she has income.
How remarriage affects SSI
If you are getting remarried, your SSI payment amount may change as a result of your new spouse’s income and resources.
If you and your new spouse both get SSI, your payment amount will change from an individual rate to a couple’s rate.
To determine the SSI benefit amount a couple is eligible to receive, their combined countable income is deducted from the federal benefit rate.
The result is then divided equally and paid to the couple in separate checks.
COLA may increase SNAP benefits
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is based on specific income thresholds.
Once beneficiaries start to increase their income, they could be at risk of losing their benefits.
Households are required to meet certain conditions and resource limits.
A household includes everyone who lives with you, buys, and prepares food together plus resources like cash or money in a bank account.
Report finds 62% of employees are stressed
According to a report from Bank of America, the 12th annual Workplace Benefits Report, 62 percent of employees are stressed about their finances.
Additionally, 80 percent of employees are concerned about inflation, and 71 percent feel the cost of living is outpacing growth in their salary or wages.
Companies offering wellness programs are now attracting more potential employees.
The report found that 84 percent of employers offering financial wellness tools reduce employee attrition while 81 percent say wellness tools help attract higher quality employees.
Mortgage rates skyrocket
This could increase the cost of a home by nearly $700 per month.
The change has made the home inventory even lower than it was, as sellers do not what to move, given they can not afford to purchase a new residence with the rising interest.
Minnesota nurses strike for better pay
15,000 nurses at seven health care systems in the Minneapolis and Duluth areas walked out earlier this month, demanding a 30 percent raise, NBC reports.
Hospitals agreed to a 10 to 12 percent wage increase, but the union demanded more due to understaffing and already low wages.
“The union rejected all requests for mediation and held fast to wage demands that were unrealistic, unreasonable and unaffordable,” several of the Twin Cities hospitals under strike said in a joint statement.
The nurses agreed to a three-day strike so as to not impact patient care.
Car prices leveling out
Car prices are astonishingly high, but according to CNN, seem to be leveling out.
“There aren’t many new cars available,” Pat Ryan, CEO of the personal finance app Co-Pilot told CNN.
“Used cars were peaking maybe six, eight weeks ago. They started to come down but the problem is the rate [hikes] have increased payments, faster than the decline in prices brought relief."
The average interest rate for a 5-year car loan was 3.85 percent at the beginning of the year but is now around 5 percent.
Negative impacts of a high COLA, continued
In another survey, 37 percent of participants reported receiving low-income assistance in 2021.
This is more than double the 16 percent that was receiving this assistance prior to the pandemic.
These findings suggest the pandemic and inflation have caused a significantly higher amount of adults living on a fixed income to turn to other supplemental programs.
Negative impacts of a high COLA
Boosts in benefits are not always welcomed, as some of them can push people out of the income threshold required for other assistance programs.
A study done by The Senior Citizens League from May to July showed that 14 percent of participants had their low-income assistance reduced due to their COLA.
Another 6 percent had lost access to one or more programs when the COLA boosted their income over the allowed limit.
US Cost of Living Index
The cost of living index is a metric for comparing the cost of living between different cities.
The indexes looks at expenses the average person would acquire, like food, shelter, healthcare, transportation, and education.
These are estimated by comparing each city to a baseline value - the US is set at 100.
US cities with highest COLA
As inflation grows, some cities are feeling the price hikes more than others.
The top five cities are:
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles
County employees get nine percent COLA increase
County employees in Hawkins, Alabama will receive a nine percent wage increase to offset inflation.
The Times News reported that The Hawkins County Commission voted Monday during the 2022-23 budget meeting.
The increase was met with opposition but ultimately, two things were decided: raising the property tax rate by 15 cents and offering a cost-of-living adjustment at the rate of inflation to all county employees.
Amendments passed for automatic annual COLA
By the 1950s, amendments were passed to Social Security to ensure benefits would have an automatic annual cost of living adjustment (COLA).
The Social Security Amendments of 1954 launched a disability insurance program, freezing retirement benefits while workers were on disability.
By 1960, President Eisenhower signed a law allowing disabled workers of any age and their dependents to access disability benefits.
At the time, 559,000 people were receiving SSDI.
The average amount was around $80 per month.
Florida school workers set for a raise
15,000 workers at public schools across South Florida are set to receive a raise, according to WLRN.
Pursuant to state legislation recently passed, all school workers in Florida must be paid at least $15 per hour by October 1.
This includes maintenance workers, food service workers, and custodial staff.
Retired Ohio teachers get COLA
Retired teachers in Ohio will receive a 2.5 percent COLA increase in 2023.
It takes effect on the anniversary of the recipient’s effective date of retirement.
Those who retired after April 1, 2018, must wait four years before getting COLA.
The current US inflation rate
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 8.3 percent in August compared with a year ago.
Shelter, gasoline, and food have contributed to some of the highest areas in price increases.
The cost of shelter rose 6.1 percent over the past year while food prices increased by 8.3 percent during the year.
Many reasons can be attributed to high inflation including labor shortages, supply not meeting the demand, raw material cost hikes, and price gouging.
States with the lowest cost of living
Below are the top 10 cheapest states to live in and how their cost of living compares to the national average, according to Insure.com.
States with the highest cost of living
Below are the top 10 most expensive states to live in and how their cost of living compares to the national average, according to Insure.com.