How Social Security, Wage Hikes and SNAP Will Alleviate Inflation in 2022

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With inflation expected to keep rising into the new year, Americans can use all the financial help they can get in 2022. Fortunately, some will get a boost in income to help them cope with higher prices for everything from gas and food to energy, household items and health care.

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Here’s a look at three different ways you might get more money in 2022:

Wage Hikes

Although the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for more than a decade, certain cities, states and counties have enacted their own hikes. A total of 74 states, cities and counties raised their minimum wage this year, New Hamphire’s WMUR reported, citing data from the National Employment Law Project. The project is still tabulating the number for 2022, but expects it to be about the same.

For example, the minimum wage in Arizona will increase to $12.80 an hour in 2022 from $12.15 this year, while the minimum wage in Colorado will rise to $12.56 an hour in 2022 from $12.32 this year.

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In addition, the minimum wage for federal contractors will rise to $15 an hour during 2022 following an executive order signed by President Joe Biden. The higher wage will take effect when new contracts are signed or when certain actions are taken, such as extensions or renewals.

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Meanwhile, a number of major employers have raised or will raise the minimum wage for their own workers, GOBankingRates previously reported. In some cases, the hikes have doubled workers’ pay. The list of high-profile companies that have already raised their minimum wage includes Aetna, Amazon, Bank of America, Ben & Jerry’s, Best Buy, Cigna, Costco, Facebook, Fifth Third Bancorp, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Target and Wells Fargo.

Social Security

Social Security recipients will get their highest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in decades next year, when monthly payments will rise 5.9% to account for inflation. As GOBankingRates recently reported, the average monthly Social Security benefit for 2022 will rise to $1,657 from $1,565. For couples, the average will be about $3,000 a month.

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The COLA for 2021 was only 1.3%, WMUR noted, which translated into about $20 extra a month for recipients.

Food Stamps

Americans who qualify for food stamps got a hike in October when the federal government’s new fiscal year began. The average monthly benefit for the 2022 fiscal year rose to $251 per person, up from $240 per person. The increase is the result of a permanent update to the Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan, which determines the benefit amount of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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SNAP recipients also got a cost-of-living adjustment that amounts to $3 a month for the current fiscal year.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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