Social Security Announces 2022 Benefit Increases

Social Security Announces 2022 Benefit Increases

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021.  (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).  The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000 from $142,800.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount.  Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account.  People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.  

Information about Medicare changes for 2022, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.  For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced.  Final 2022 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Some of the changes for 2022 are:

The maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit is $841 (individual), $1,261 (couple).

The Student Exclusion Limit (amount a disabled student can earn without loss of SSI) is $2,040 per month, $8,230 per year.

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) income limit (the amount an SSDI recipient can earn without loss of benefit) is $1,350 per month ($2,260 blind).

For 2022 Social Security Retirement benefits:

Full retirement age (FRA): 65 (born in 1937); 65 and 2 months (born in 1938); 65 and 4 months (born in 1939); 65 and 6 months (born in 1940); 65 and 8 months (born in 1941); 65 and 10 months (born in 1942); 66 (born 1943 – 1954); 66 and 2 months (born 1955); 66 and 4 months (born 1956); 66 and 6 months (born 1957); 66 and 8 months (born 1958); 66 and 10 months (born 1959); 67 (born 1960 or after) — can have unlimited earning without causing SS reduction. 

Maximum Social Security Retirement benefit at FRA:  $3,345 (2022)

Average Social Security benefit:  $1,543 (individual), $2,596 (older couple, both receive)

Earnings limits for applicants under full retirement age:  SS retirement benefits reduced $1 for every $2 over the earnings limit of $19,560 per year ($1,630/month) in 2022. Spousal benefits are also reduced due to your excess earnings. 

In the year an applicant reaches full retirement age, benefit is reduced $1 for every $3 earned above a limit of $51,960 per year ($4,330/month), but only before the month you reach FRA.