Social Security checks are receiving the highest increase in decades, gaining a boost of 5.9%, while the federal government is warning Americans that heating bills this winter could climb up to 54% or more if a colder winter.
In an effort to keep up with rising inflation, a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will give a 5.9 percent increase to recipients of Social Security. Typically, the COLA increase varies between 1-2 percent each year.
The highest recent COLA increase was 5.8 percent in 2009 at the height of the great recession, which was then the largest increase in over a quarter of a century.
The boost in benefits will affect nearly 70 million people. Additionally, roughly 8 million people enrolled in Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income Program, which is for people who are disabled or receive little income, will begin to see increased payments at the end of December.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed prices increased by 5.4 percent on an annualized basis in September, while inflation rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in September from August, NBC reported.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its new Winter Fuels Outlook report this Wednesday and the news isn’t good.
According to the report, Americans can expect heating bills to soar this winter, with some people paying up to 54 percent more, The Blaze reported.
The EIA report shows that the cost of all types of heating – electricity, natural gas, propane, and heating oil – will rise significantly in the coming months.
“Retail prices for energy are at or near multiyear highs,” according to the EIA report.
It is important to keep in mind that the report is basing these estimates on “an average winter.” If the US experiences a colder winter, expect that heating bills will climb higher, resulting in propane heating costs projected to nearly double from last year.
In a breakdown, the report said the following for 2021-22 compared to 2020-21:
Natural gas: Expect to pay a third more, 50 percent more winter is 10 percent colder than average. Nearly half of US households heat with natural gas.
Propane: A 54 percent hike, 94 percent more in a colder winter. Five percent of US households heat with propane.
Heating oil: 40 percent more, 59 percent more in a colder winter. Four percent of US households heat with heating oil.
Electricity: 6 percent more, 15 percent more if a colder winter. 41 percent of US households heat with electricity.