SOCIAL Security claimants will see their monthly payments rise by 5.9% next year, the government has confirmed.
The rise in the cost-of-living-allowance (COLA) means the average check for a retired worker in 2022 will increase by $92 – from $1,565 to $1,657 a month.
Meanwhile, a typical couple’s benefits will rise by $154 – from $2,599 to $2,753 per month, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The COLA is calculated based on third quarter data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
When the CPI-W drops or remains unchanged, Social Security recipients are generally not given a COLA.
However, when consumer goods increase in price, known as inflation, monthly checks are increased to help claimants get by financially.
The Department of Labor today confirmed the latest data, and prices rose 5.4% for the 12 months ending September.
This compares to a 5.3% hike for the period ending August, it said.
In fact, the average household now spends an extra $175 on food, fuel and housing.
The COLA increase will be the biggest rise since the allowance shot up by 7.4% in 1982.
It’ll come into effect for more than 64million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022.
Meanwhile, increased payments to eight million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants will begin on December 30, 2021.
Social Security claimants are usually notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount.
Most people who receive Social Security payments will also be able to view their COLA notice online.
The start of each year also brings with it other changes for Social Security.
For example, the SSA confirmed that the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase to $147,000 from $142,800.
This hike comes after an increase in average wages.
The Senior Citizens League had previously predicted a COLA raise of 4.7% in June, 6.1% in July, 6.2% in August and between 6% and 6.1% in September.
In comparison, the COLA paid out this year was just 1.3%, down from 1.6% in 2020.
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