More money from Social Security in 2022

Jan 6th, 2022 | By | Category: News

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2022. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.

The index rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost of living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) helps offset the costs.

This year’s COLA, one of the highest in several decades, comes at a good time. Over the past 12 months, prices increased 6 percent in nearly all major consumer sectors, including grocery stores, gasoline and automobiles.

COLA increases in the past couple of years were about 1 percent.

To announce the increase in benefit payouts for 2022, the Social Security Administration mailed COLA notices throughout December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. They can also learn their new benefit amount online by using the Message Center in their Social Security account.

January 2022 marks other Social Security changes based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax in 2022 will be higher. The retirement earnings test exempt amount will also change in 2022.

The average monthly Social Security benefit for an individual in 2021 was $1,565. The COLA in 2022 will increase that average to about $1,657, according to the Social Security Administration. A similar increase is expected for SSI, which is paid to people with limited income and resources who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Children with disabilities can get SSI, too.

In the 1970s, Congress authorized automatic increases in benefits linked to a rise in consumer prices. The first automatic increases to Social Security benefits were in 1975.

More information about Social Security and the 2022 COLA is available at ssa.gov and 1-800-772-1213. Local office phone numbers include, in Pierce County, 855-886-9627 (Puyallup) and 888-487-9229 (Tacoma); in King County, 866-964-7380 (Burien) and 866-931-7671d (Kent); and in Kitsap County, 855-820-0098 (Bremerton).

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