Consumer Alert: Seniors are getting a big Social Security increase. Here’s how to determine how much you’re getting in 2023.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — I don’t know whether we should all celebrate or cry. We learned your Social Security check is going to be a lot fatter next year.

But the reason seniors are getting such a big increase is that inflation is so high. The inflation numbers came out on Thursday, and inflation continued to climb in September. It’s now 8.2 percent higher than last September. So the increase in your social security check is supposed to help you maintain your standard of living.

We call it COLA, your cost of living adjustment. You’re getting an increase of 8.7 percent starting in January. And that’s the biggest bump since 1981.

If you’re a senior who rents, you really felt the pain. According to rent prices are up almost 8 percent more than this time last year. And groceries have increased by 13 percent since last year. So you need to have a good estimate of how much more you’ll get in that monthly Social Security check.

You can figure out exactly how much money you’ll get next year with some simple math. I’ve already done this for my dad who I care for. His monthly social security benefit is $1132. The government takes out your Medicare part B premium before you get your money.

The cost of your premium in 2022 is $170.10. So to figure out what his increase will be next year, I add $1132 plus $170.10. The total is $1,302.10. That’s the total amount of his social security benefit this year. So I then multiply that times 8.7 percent. So next year, Dad will get another $113.28.

And here’s more good news. As you know, your Medicare part B premiums are taken out before you get your check. Part B pays for your outpatient expenses. Come January, your premiums are going down $5 to $164.90. Hopefully, that will also help as the Fed works to tame inflation.