Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2022 Is 5.9%

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) just announced a major year-over-year rise in monthly benefits for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.

The October 13 announcement of the 5.9% hike in benefits is the largest cost-of-living raise in nearly 40 years.

Here’s Your Social Security Cost-of-Living Raise for 2022

The SSA says the 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to SSI beneficiaries will start at the end of December 2021.

The average monthly Social Security check in June 2021 was $1,555 for retirees, according to the SSA. That means the 5.9% increase next year will translate to approximately an extra $92 in an average check each month. You can view your COLA notice online through your "my Social Security" account.

COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a broad measure of the price of food, energy, health care, housing, transportation and more.

In years when there is no inflation, there is no increase in benefits. However, benefits are never reduced if there’s no inflation.

Historical Cost-of-Living Adjustments From the Social Security Administration

YearAdjustment Percentage
20215.9%
20201.3%
20191.6%
20182.8%
20172.0%
20160.3%
20150.0%
20141.7%
20131.5%
20121.7%
20113.6%
20100.0%

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You can see the full history of cost-of-living adjustments here.

If you have questions about Social Security or retirement, contact Clark’s free Consumer Action Center at clark.com/cac.

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