Social Security is getting a big change this year — in fact, the largest one in almost four decades.
A year of runaway inflation and surging prices in almost every major category — and specifically, those affecting seniors — have forced the Social Security Administration to increase the cost of living adjustment to 5.9% for 2022 payments.
The 2022 COLA increase is one of the largest in history. To put it into perspective, COLAs of years past have hovered around 1.5%.
Inflation currently stands at just above 6% over the past 12 months, meaning the COLA for this year, although historically substantial, is barely enough to wipe away the effects of rampant inflation.
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According to the SSA, the estimated average monthly benefits for all retired workers will be $1,657 beginning in January 2022. Prior to the COLA taking effect, the average is $1,565, meaning seniors will receive roughly $100 more each month and $1,200 over the year as part of the COLA increase.
For retired couples both receiving benefits, the average payment will be $2,753. A widowed mother with two children will receive an average payment of $3,187, and a widow or widower alone will receive $1,553.
Disabled workers and spouses with one or more children will receive an average benefit of $2,383, while all disabled workers will receive an average of $1,358.
These estimates by the SSA are based on the average payment. Your specific payment could be more or less depending on a variety of factors, like how many years you worked, your earnings and whether or not you were married and had dependents. To see a more accurate estimate of your personal benefits, log into the SSA website to create a mySocialSecurity account where you can see your personal estimates and statements. The estimates include the amount you are slated to receive at retirement based on ages 62, 65, and 70.
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