The cost of living adjustment will affect many San Franciscans.
In 2023 individuals receiving Social Security benefits will see a significant cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase. In one of the largest increases in recent years, the Social Security recipients will see a 8.7% COLA increase, which will translate to approximately $140 per month. The purpose of a COLA is to offset increases in the cost of living due to inflation. Notices will be mailed throughout the month of December 2022 by the Social Security Administration to SSI recipients, SSDI beneficiaries, and payee representatives, along with those receiving retirement benefits and their survivors.
In early December, beneficiaries who want to learn what their individual 2023 benefit amount will be can log into their my Social Security account (www.ssa.gov/myaccount/) and check for a secured message summarizing their benefits. If a beneficiary does not have an account they will need to create one. It is important to note that in order to receive the 2023 COLA notice online, beneficiaries need to create a my Social Security account before November 15, 2022, or they will have to wait for the December notice to arrive via US Mail.
New social security policy allows for self-selection of gender.
As part of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Equity Action Plan, on October 20, 2022, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Kilolo Kijakazi, announced that SSA will offer individuals the option to self-select their gender on their Social Security Number (SSN) applications and records. SSA is committed to decreasing the burden on those who identify differently from their assigned gender at birth. Acting Commissioner Kijakazi stated, “This new policy allows people to self-select their sex in our records without needing to provide documentation of their sex designation.”
Those who want to update their SSN records will need to apply for a replacement card. (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf) They will still need to prove their identity with current documentation, such as a passport or state-issued driver’s license or identity card. Although the gender field is not used in determining benefit eligibility, SSA is working with other agencies to allow millions of transgender people in the United States to update their most commonly used identification documents.
Unfortunately, the current SSA record system cannot include nonbinary or unspecified gender designation at this time. SSA is exploring options to support an “X” designation in the future.