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Published: Jan 02, 2024 4 min read
A United States Treasury government check rests on top of a Social Security card.
Money; Getty Images

A sizable cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security kicks in this month, meaning beneficiaries are about to see their monthly checks increase — by an average of $58.

According to the Social Security Administration's payments schedule for 2024, the first Social Security checks of the year will be distributed on Wednesday (Jan. 3). This batch of payments is for people who claimed Social Security before May 1997 as well as those who receive both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

For most Social Security beneficiaries, the payments calendar is based on your birthday.

  • If your birthday is between the 1st and 10th of the month, payments go out on the second Wednesday of the month. (That means you'll get your first Social Security check of 2024 on Jan. 10).
  • For beneficiaries with birthdays between the 11th and 20th, payments go out on the third Wednesday of the month. (First check of 2024 is Jan. 17).
  • For beneficiaries with birthdays between the 21st and 31st, payments go out on the fourth Wednesday of the month. (First check of 2024 is Jan. 24).
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Recipients of SSI were already sent their first inflation-adjusted checks of 2024 on Dec. 29. While SSI benefits are usually disbursed on the first of the month, checks are sent out earlier if the payment date would otherwise be on the weekend or a holiday. That’s how the payment schedule works for Social Security, as well.

Because of this scheduling quirk, in May, August and November, SSI beneficiaries will get two payments. They will not receive payments in January, June and September.

Social Security COLA for 2024 takes effect

The 2024 cost-of-living adjustment isn’t nearly as high as the prior year’s historic 8.7% COLA, but the 3.2% increase is well above the average of 2.6%. Kilolo Kijakazi, then the acting commissioner of Social Security, said in an October news release that the larger checks will “help millions of people keep up with expenses.”

In total, about 67 million people receive Social Security. The Social Security Administration (SSA) also provides Supplemental Security Income to more than 7 million Americans with disabilities as well as those who meet certain income requirements. (Some people receive both Social Security and SSI payments.)

The SSA calculates the COLA every October based on the inflation rate in the third quarter, which spans July to September. Because inflation has been high in recent years, recent inflation adjustments have been more significant.

The average Social Security benefit was $1,711 in November when the SSA last updated its data. The 2024 COLA should bring the average benefit to about $1,770, which is a nearly $200 bump in two years.

To access the full calendar of 2024 Social Security payment dates, visit the SSA website.

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