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Social Security COLA increase is highest in decades: How much more retirees will get

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

Retirees and disabled people who are receiving Social Security benefits will get a 5.9% boost in benefits, thanks to a spike in inflation.

It's good news for those on stretched budgets and must live on a limited income. But many remain concerned about how much they're being hit by rapidly rising prices for many items, including food, housing and drugs.

The 2022 COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, will add roughly $92 a month to an average retirement benefit of $1,565 a month, according to some estimates.

The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday that the 5.9% adjustmentwill be paid to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January. And increased payments will be made to about 8 million disabled people receiving Supplemental Security Income or SSI on Dec. 30.

Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits.

Higher income workers will pay more money toward Social Security benefits, too, next year. The maximum amount of earnings that are subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $147,000 from $142,800.


Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, said in a statement Wednesday that the upcoming increase is the largest inflation adjustment that most beneficiaries living today have ever seen.

"But a high COLA means exceptionally high inflation is impacting consumers," Johnson said.

The Senior Citizens League said it has received more than 200 emails over the past month from many retired and disabled individuals who live on limited incomes and say that higher prices are seriously hurting their budgets.

Many retirees aren't going to be flush with extra cash here. We'll hear more news, for example, likely in November about premium hikes for Medicare Part B.


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