The Social Security Administration will increase benefits payments to recipients by 3.6 percent in January. This is the first increase recipients have had in two years, according to an article on CNNMoney. The increase may lead to increased loads on prepaid cards for those recipients who elect to receive their benefits in the form of direct deposit to a prepaid card they own or received under the Administration’s DirectExpress program.
Because inflation has been very low in recent years, beneficiaries have not seen a COLA increase since 2009, when they received a 5.8% boost.
However, most seniors are not likely to receive the full amount of the COLA increase because the expected hike in Medicare premiums could eat up part of the raise. The change in Medicare premiums, which could increase by a double-digit rate, should be announced next month.
The increase in payments could provide another opportunity for the government to promote its DirectExpress card by sending out information on the card to those who are still receiving checks along with the announcement of the increase.