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Social Security 2022: Am I eligible for the $1657 cost of Living Boost?

Recipients of social security funds have been receiving a higher value in their January payments compared to 2021, in part due to the COLA increase.

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Social Security 2022: Am I eligible for the $1657 cost of Living Boost?
Amira Karaoud Reuters

Last year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the COLA adjustment showing an increase of 5.9 percent. The huge increase means the maximum money that can be claimed through Social Security is the highest in years. The maximum that can be claimed has risen to $49,497 a year, or $4,124 a month.

For the average person receiving the benefit, this means your monthly payment will increase to $1657, an increase over $100 compared to 2021. However, this boost is negated by fast rising inflation in the US. In the last piece of public data, inflation rose by 7 percent compared to a year prior. The 5.9 percent increase is dwarfed.

How can this be achieved?

To receive SSI, one must meet two eligibility requirements. One must either be over the age of sixty-five, blind and/or disabled. Additionally, they must have a limited income and resources as the program is need-based and aims to assist beneficiaries to cover basic costs for food and shelter.

To claim the highest amount of social security payment possible, the main factors taken into consideration are the age of retirement and the 35 years in which the worker earned the most, as an annual average. In 2020, around 74.2 percent of those receiving Social Security benefits were retirees..The maximum benefit amount depends on the year one retires. Those who chose to retire before 65 are penalized with lower benefits. These are the splits for 2021, depending on age of retirement:

  • $3,895 for someone who files at age 70,
  • $3,148 for someone who files at full retirement age (currently 66 and 2 months),
  • $2,324 for someone who files at 62

How is the increase for 2022 affecting benefits?

The COLA increase impacts all aspects of Social Security, not just pensions.

For those receiving disability insurance, the threshold will rise by $40 for non-blind recipients and $70 for blind beneficiaries. This translates to $1,350 and $2,260 per month respectively. Those receiving Trial Work Period benefits could get an extra $30 per month for a total of $970.

The Supplemental Support Income (SSI) federal standard payments will increase to $841 per month for individuals, an increase of $47. For couples they could receive an additional $70 per month for a total of $1,261 in 2022.