What is the COLA 2022 increase for veterans?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a huge 5.9% increase for benefits recipients in 2022, which also applied to Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries.
Last month the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced an historic increase for beneficiaries, reflecting the damaging effects that covid-19 has had on the economy. Each year the SSA implements a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which is designed to increase benefits in line with inflation.
That figure for the 2022 is 5.9%, meaning that recipients of a Social Security programme will soon benefit from the largest COLA increase since 1983. This means a $59 increase for every $1,000 of benefits received.
The increase will also affect the disability compensation payments issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), although the figure on offer can differ. Typically, a VA recipient with a 10% disability rating will see their monthly figure boosted by $8.50, going up an extra $85 per month for those with a 100% rating.
Can you get both Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits?
Since 1957, Social Security has covered all active duty military service and active duty training, and was expanded in 1988 to include inactive duty service in the armed forces reserves.
As such, you can get both the standard military retirement payments from the VA and Social Security benefits. The two are independent programmes, meaning that there is no reduction of your Social Security entitlement because of retirement benefits. The size of your Social Security benefits is based on your work history, earnings level and the age at which you chose to start claiming the payments.
What is the point of the COLA increase?
The COLA increase is designed to keep the monthly benefits in line with inflation as the cost of living rises year-on-year. The price of goods and services rises over time so benefits programmes like Social Security must reflect that.
This means that, while the 5.9% increase is huge by historical standard, it is simply designed to keep pace with the increased cost of living. Throughout the pandemic the federal government has issued various forms of financial stimulus, pumping money into the economy to ensure that Americans are supported.
However that influx of cash has consequences and businesses typically increase prices when there is greater demand. The three rounds of stimulus checks passed in the last 18 months were credited with boosting consumers’ buying power, but it has also been linked with price increases.