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Social Security

How long does it take to start receiving social security benefits after applying?

Making sure you have submitted all your information correctly could speed up the processing time of your application, but it could still be over a month.

US consumer prices rose last month at a rate not seen in nearly 40 years, the government reported Friday, underscoring how inflation threatens the world's largest economy and President Joe Biden's public support.
Frederic J. BrownAFP

Without delays concerning the pandemic, it can take the Social Security Administration (SSA) about six weeks to process an application. For many people, this benchmark is even too long. For someone requiring support to survive, six weeks can be an eternity.

Another factor which affects the turnaround time of applications is making sure your application is correct; mistakes obviously make the process longer.

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What information do you need to be in order?

Some of the most important information the SSA needs are:

  • birth certificate,
  • Social Security number,
  • W-2 form,
  • tax returns if you are self-employed,

For people not born in the US, documents pertaining to your citizenship are also required.

How large is the Social Security COLA increase for 2022?

In October, the SSA announced a historic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 5.9 percent that will be applied to benefits for 2022. The increase makes history as the highest offered to seniors in over forty years and is mostly a result of higher than normal inflation brought on by multiple factors resulting from the covid-19 pandemic.

In just one year, prices in the US have increased 6.8 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent, following a jump of 0.9 percent in October. The COLA increase is needed to prevent a real-term benefit cut, but inflation is still outstrpping it.

When will the hike to Social Security benefits take effect?

The boost will benefit around 70 million people who receive either Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It will begin on December 30, 2021, when around 8 million SSI recipients will see their first payments based on the COLA 2022. The remaining beneficiaries can expect their first check with the increase reflected in January.


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