In 2021, the average monthly Social Security benefit was just $1,565. However, according to the Social Security Administration, after a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment was scheduled to go into effect next year, the average benefit will rise to about $1,657. This means that the average couple could see roughly $3,000 a month. The roughly $100 increase comes after a year of unprecedented inflation. Over the past 12 months, prices have increased 6% in nearly all major sectors and in every major grocery store category, which has especially affected seniors. COLA increases in the past couple of years have been at around 1-1.3%. This year’s adjustment, however, is one of the highest COLA jumps in decades.
Forbes estimates that the increase in benefits will benefit nearly 62 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits in January 2022. As for when payments will take effect, Social Security beneficiaries will see their first increased benefits check in January of next year. As for Americans who receive Supplemental Security Income, these lucky individuals will actually be able to see their increases a little sooner, beginning on December 30th. The Social Security Administration estimates that increased payments to SSI beneficiaries will reach approximately 8 million people next year. According to Forbes, for those who receive SSI, this amount is expected to increase a base amount of $841 per month for an individual in 2022, up from $794 per month in 2021.And $1261 per month for a couple, up from $1191 in 2021. The $47 increase will especially benefit the nearly 3 million Americans who receive both Social Security and SSI benefits together. If you receive both SSI and regular Social Security payments in 2022, this could mean you would receive nearly $2,500 per month.
As for Social Security disability benefits, these are projected to increase to an average of $1358 per month, up from $1282. In order to see a personalized estimate of how much you will be receiving after the COLA adjustment, go ahead and head over to mySocialSecurity at ssa.gov to use the Social Security Administration’s calculator. From there, you will be able to input your personal information to receive a more accurate estimate as to how the COLA adjustment will affect you specifically. If you are scheduled to be a recipient of benefits in 2022, the Social Security Administration will notify you via mail and online, through online mySocialSecurity accounts, beginning in December.
All above figures are representative of retirees who have reached full retirement age. Keep in mind it is possible your payment could be lower if you begin distributions before your own full retirement age. So be sure to discuss this with a financial planner before you do anything.