Social Security and Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits for about 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent by 2022, the Social Security Administration announced Oct. 13.
The 5.9 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) begins with benefits paid to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021. (Note: Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act links the annual COLA to the rise in the consumer price index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the other adjustments that take effect in January each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of income subject to Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase from $142,800 to $147,000.
Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified of their new benefit amount by post from the beginning of December. Most people who receive Social Security payments can view their COLA report online through their personal my Social Security account. People can create or access their “my social security account” online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Information about Medicare changes for 2022, if announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries who receive Medicare, Social Security cannot calculate their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced. The final benefits amounts for 2022 will be communicated to beneficiaries in December via the COLA Postal Notice and My Social Security Message Center.
The Social Security Act determines how the COLA is calculated.