COLA increase 2022 Social Security update

THE social security payment schedule for March has been revealed, and about 70million Americans will receive bumped-up monthly social security payments worth up to $1,658 this year.

The new cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) means that checks are 5.9 percent higher compared to 2021.

Millions have already received their first increased payment since Social Security payments are allocated based on birth dates.

Claimants born between January 1 and January 10 got their first increased payout on January 12.

In 2021, the average monthly payment for retired workers was $1,565, and that rose to $1,657 with the 5.9 percent COLA increase.

February’s first batch of SSI checks is on the way to help recipients out with increased funds.

The checks being issued in March are being sent out by the SSA in three waves according to the recipient’s birth date, on March 9, 16, or 23.

Read our COLA 2022 increase live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • COLA could affect SNAP benefits, part two

    The COLA increase can have an effect on people who are part of the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

    The program helps low-income people.

    Households need to meet certain income requirements to receive assistance.

    Americans on Social Security, who also receive SNAP benefits, may be at risk of losing the SNAP benefit if their income level exceeds the requirement.

  • COLA could affect SNAP benefits

    Millions of Social Security beneficiaries are in line to get a larger payment in 2022.

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) increased its cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to 5.9 percent.

    The increased Social Security payment will be reflected in the January 2022 check.

    The extra money will be welcomed by Social Security beneficiaries as the latest report from the Commerce Department found consumer prices rose 5.7 percent in a year through November 2021.

  • Types of Social Security benefits

    For part or all of their retirement income, more than 50 million Americans rely on Social Security payments.

    Although most working Americans do not want to rely completely on Social Security payments to support their retirements, it is a crucial source of income.

    Many seniors would want financial assistance if they did not get their monthly Social Security checks.

    Benefits are divided into four categories based on who is getting them. Retirement, disability, survivors, and supplemental benefits are the different types.

  • Representative promotes COLA act

    Representative Dina Titus of Nevada promoted a COLA-related act she co-sponsored on Twitter back in January.

    “Many seniors live on fixed incomes derived from Social Security, making it vital that COLAs reflect rising costs and other necessities,” she wrote.

    “I’m a co-sponsor of the Fair COLA for Seniors Act to protect these earned benefits against rising costs for prescription drugs and other care.”

  • Medicare price increase explained

    Some retirees don’t think they’ll be able to cover Medicare costs despite the COLA bump.

    Medicare’s Part B monthly premium for 2022 will increase from $148.50 to $170.10. The $21.60 jump is the largest price hike in the program’s history.

    Part B of the package covers doctor visits and other outpatient services like screening.

    When the price hike was announced, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials stressed that the 14.5 percent increase would be covered by this year’s COLA.

  • Why you should retire at 70, continued

    If you delay benefits for an additional 12 months, you’ll receive 108 percent of the monthly benefit and if you wait until 70, you’ll receive 132 percent.

    If you fully take advantage of everything from your work and earnings history to delaying your claim – it’s possible you can earn the maximum Social Security benefit.

    In 2022, the maximum benefit will be boosted to $4,194 a month.

  • Why should you retire at 70?

    Waiting to retire at 70 before claiming Social Security benefits gives you more for not retiring at 62.

    If you claim at 62, you could see your benefits reduced as much as 30 percent, according to the Social Security Administration.

    If you wait until your full retirement age, you’ll get 100% of your monthly benefit.

  • Social Security won’t replace income after retirement

    When you plan for retirement, it’s important to remember that Social Security is only meant to cover about 40 percent of pre-retirement income.

    The maximum benefit is $3,345 a month for someone who files for Social Security in 2022 at full retirement age (FRA).

    FRA is the age at which you qualify for 100 percent of the benefit calculated from your earnings history.

    This is $40,140 annually. However, the average rent in the United States is about $1,100 to $1,200.

    This leaves a retiree with $25,740 annually, which is just above the poverty line.

  • Replacement Social Security card, part two

    You can generally apply for a replacement card online in other states if the below applies:

    • Are a US citizen age 18 or older with a US mailing address
    • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card
    • Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states or the District of Columbia

    If you need help, you can contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting your local social security office.

  • What is Supplemental Security Income?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays cash benefits to people who are not earning a significant income.

    One of the two SSA programs is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    SSI makes monthly payments to people who have limited income and assets.

    Whether you can get it depends on your income and the things you own. 

  • Getting a replacement Social Security card

    If you lose your card, you may not need a replacement one as simply knowing the social security number is enough in many cases.

    However, if you’d like a replacement card, you can order it online via your Social Security account in most states.

    The exceptions are Alaska, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

  • How to get a Social Security card

    You must first apply for a Social Security number before receiving a card.

    You’ll need to provide a variety of original documents depending on where you were born and whether you’re a US citizen.

    You’ll need to present proof of US citizenship and age, such as a US birth certificate or a US passport if you’re a US-born adult citizen.

    Because one document may only be used for two purposes – such as citizenship and age – you must present at least two distinct documents.

  • Funding Social Security, part two

    The SSA website says $1.001trillion, or 89.6 percent, of total Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance income came from payroll taxes in 2020.

    The remainder was provided by interest earnings of $76billion (6.8 percent) and revenue from taxation of OASDI benefits $41billion (3.6 percent).

  • How is Social Security funded?

    Social Security is funded through a dedicated payroll tax.

    Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent of wages up to the taxable maximum of $142,800 in 2021, while self-employed Americans pay 12.4 percent, according to the Social Security website.

  • Cash-flow may remain the same

    Mary Johnson, Social Security, and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League, warned Americans that their cash flow may remain the same.

    “We are still going to see this tremendous problem with prices increasing faster than the COLA,” she told CBS News.

    “So, retirees, anybody living on a fixed income, need to be aware that the 5.9percent may look like a bigger increase than we’ve ever gotten.

    “But once they go through their household budget, they will realize it still won’t pay for all the increasing bills.”

    Johnson added that inflation is expected to continue to grow in 2022.

  • Claiming full benefits

    Your full Social Security benefit depends on the age you retire.

    If you retire at 67, which is the full retirement age, in January 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345.

    If you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364, according to the Social Security Administration.

    If you retire at age 70 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $4,194.

    The SSA also confirmed that the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax would increase this month.

    This will increase from $142,800 to $147,000, following an increase in average wages.

  • Spousal benefits

    If you have not worked or do not have enough Social Security credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefits, you may be able to receive spousal benefits.

    The spouse of a retired worker can receive up to half of their spouse’s benefits.

    To qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be either at least 62 years of age or any age and caring for a child entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record and who is younger than age 16 or disabled.

    If you choose to begin receiving your spouse’s benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefit amount will be permanently reduced.

    The spousal benefit continues until one spouse dies, after which the survivor may be eligible for survivor benefits.

  • Benefits for children

    A child with a disability age 18 or older may get Social Security benefits when a parent gets retirement or disability benefits.

    The child’s disability must have begun before age 22.

    Dependent child benefits begin when a retired worker’s benefits start. They end when the child turns 18.

    The disabled person may qualify for continuing benefits as an adult who is unable to work.

    Benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefits.

    The child may also get benefits if a parent dies.

  • Disability benefits

    The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to you and your family if you worked long enough and recently enough.

    You must have paid Social Security taxes on your earnings before becoming disabled.

    You must also meet certain requirements defined by the SSA, including a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

    The benefit is for life unless the SSA feels you no longer qualify.

  • Survivor benefits

    When you die, members of your family could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings.

    You and your children also may be able to get benefits if your deceased spouse or former spouse worked long enough under Social Security.

    A widow or widower can receive benefits if they are age 60 or older.

    They can start receiving your benefits if they are age 50 or older and disabled.

    They can also receive your benefits at any age if they are caring for a child of the deceased who is younger than 16 and disabled.

    Also, a one-time payment of $255 can be made only to a spouse or child if they meet certain requirements.

    Survivors must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death.

  • Retirement benefits

    The age you begin receiving retirement benefits affects how much your monthly benefits will be.

    You can begin getting Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but claiming them that early will reduce your benefits by as much as 30 percent.

    If you wait until your full retirement age (66 for most people), you will get full benefits.

    You also can wait until age 70 to start your benefits. The SSA will increase your benefit because you earned “delayed retirement credits.”

    The retirement benefits are then paid out until you die.

  • COLA conditions, continued

    When a COLA rise is not authorized, Medicare Part B rates for around 70 percent of beneficiaries who have their premiums deducted from their Social Security payments stay unchanged.

    The remaining beneficiaries, however, must pay the Medicare Part B premium increases, including those with higher earnings, those who did not enroll in Social Security via their employment, and new beneficiaries.

    The normal monthly Medicare Part B cost is $148.50 in 2021, but it climbs to $170.10 in 2022, a $21.60 increase from 2021.

  • COLA conditions

    The CPI-W and the employer-contracted COLA percent are both used to calculate COLA.

    The CPI calculates the rate of inflation and compares it year after year.

    Recipients do not get a COLA if consumer prices fall or if inflation is not strong enough to justify a COLA increase.

    There will be no COLA increase if the CPI-W does not rise.

  • Four changes every year

    There are at least four changes that occur every year when it comes to Social Security:

    1. Cost-of-living adjustments
    2. Earnings test limit
    3. The value of a work credit
    4. Social Security tax limit
  • How many people will see increases?

    Approximately 70million Social Security and Supplemental Social Security Income recipients will see a 5.9 percent increase in benefits in 2022.

    Roughly 8million SSI beneficiaries began getting the increased benefits on December 30, 2021.

    The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin for more than 64million Social Security beneficiaries this month. COLA increase 2022 Social Security update

Caroline Bleakley

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