COLA: When will the first Social Security benefit checks arrive in 2022?
The SSA announced a massive cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 which will benefit around 70 million Americans, but when will the payments arrive?
Last month the Social Security Administration confirmed that recipients of the various programmes operated by the agency would soon receive a significant increase in their payments.
Each year the SSA issues a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for recipients, boosting their monthly payments to reflect inflation. The logic is that when prices rise, people receiving benefits should see those payments increase accordingly.
The COLA increase for 2022 is a massive 5.9%, the largest in nearly 40 years. This raise is the result of substantial inflation in recent months as the United States’ economy looks to rebound from covid-19. A combination of huge amounts of financial stimulus from the federal government and strain on the global supply chain have seen prices soar in some sectors.
When will the first Social Security payments arrive in 2022?
Across the country an estimated 70 million people will directly benefit from the increase but the payments will be staggered for different groups. The SSA oversees a wide variety of benefits programmes which will receive the COLA increase.
The first to receive the payments will be Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, which are scheduled to be sent out from 30 December 2021. SSI is a benefits programme designed for people who are unable to earn sufficient income to live off, often due to their age or a disability.
Throughout 2022, SSI payments should arrive in the recipients’ bank accounts on the first of the month, aside from months when that date falls on either a Saturday or Sunday.
Social Security beneficiaries will have their payments staggered by birthdate
The vast majority of Social Security beneficiaries are in receipt of the SSA’s retirement benefits programme, currently numbering around 61 million people across the country. To ensure that the payments go out smoothly the process is staggered in three waves according to the recipient’s birthdate.
Anyone who was born on a date between the 1st and 10th of the month will be paid their Social Security benefit on the second Wednesday of the month: Wednesday, 12 January 2022.
Those born on the 11th of the month through to the 20th of the month will get their payment on the third Wednesday of the month: Wednesday, 19 January 2022.
Finally, the last group to benefit from the COLA increase in 2022 will be those whose birthdates are on the 21st of the month or later. This group will get their Social Security benefits paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month: Wednesday, 26 January 2021.