The Social Security Administration has announced that payments to retired and disabled beneficiaries will increase by 5.9% in 2022.  This inflation adjustment is intended to offset the higher costs-of-living encountered by beneficiaries. The increase is effective for payments received in January 2022 for retirement benefits. This is the largest annual percentage Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in benefits since 1982.

The 5.9% increase also applies to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021. The SSI Federal Payment Standard for 2022 will rise to $ 841/month for an individual and $1,261/month for a couple.

Social Security is a major source of income and financial security for most elderly Americans. In 2021 nearly nine out of ten Americans age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. In Pennsylvania over 2.8 million Pennsylvania residents currently receive Social Security benefits.

New monthly benefit amounts for Social Security beneficiaries who are receiving Medicare will not be available until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced. Beneficiaries should receive a mail notice no later than December which will provide their benefit amount for the 2022 calendar year.

While the large benefit increase is welcome, it is likely to be significantly offset by inflation, taxes, and rising premiums for Medicare.

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