Cola Social Security increase 2022 update | #phishing | #scams


MILLIONS of Social Security beneficiaries will see a huge 5.9percent cost-of-living adjustment in January 2022.

The average cost of living allowance – or Cola, as it is commonly called – will increase by $92 per month from the start of 2022. But the exact amount for each of the 64million recipients varies, according to CNBC.

The huge spike is down to a burst in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the increase, the federal benefit will be at its highest point since 1982.

The estimated average Social Security payment for a retired worker will be $1,657 a month next year. A typical couple’s benefits would rise by $154 to $2,753 per month.

The Cola affects household budgets for about 1 in 5 Americans. That includes Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees, nearly 70million people in all.

Read our Cola 2022 increase live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Spousal benefits

    If you have not worked or do not have enough Social Security credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefits, you may be able to receive spouse’s benefits.

    The spouse of a retired worker can receive up to half of their spouse’s benefits.

    To qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be either at least 62 years of age or any age and caring for a child entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record and who is younger than age 16 or disabled.

    If you choose to begin receiving spouse’s benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefit amount will be permanently reduced.

    The spousal benefit continues until one spouse dies, after which the survivor may be eligible for survivor benefits.

  • Some SSI claimants get two December checks

    8million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants will see two checks this month as the holidays approach.

    This applies to the 8million people that are projected to receive SSI in 2022, according to the Social Security Administration.

    Usually, SSI claimants receive their checks on the first of every month. However, the holiday schedule will alter the payment schedule for SSI claimants.

    Since January 1 is a federal holiday, SSI benefits are usually sent out the day prior, but New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so the holiday will be observed on a Friday.

    One payment should have already been received by these claimants on the first of the month and the second payment is set to go out on December 30 — next Thursday.

  • Couples will see monthly payments increase

    Many couples will see their monthly payments jump to $2,753 thanks to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

    The average Social Security benefit will increase by about $154 per month for couples in 2022, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    That means the average monthly payment for couples will rise from $2,599 to $2,753.

    Around 70million Americans will benefit from the COLA increase.

  • How long does it take to get benefits?

    Social Security benefits are paid out to tens of millions of elderly Americans and those with disabilities every year.

    There are three different types of Social Security benefits: retirement, survivor, and disability.

    It generally takes the Social Security Administration (SSA) about six weeks to process your application and start your benefits.

    However, this time period can vary for a couple of reasons.

  • Why are SSI payments increasing?

    Each year, the agency typically issues a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to reflect the gradual increase in prices, known as inflation.

    The cost-of-living adjustment helps to offset these costs.

    The COLA is calculated based on third-quarter data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

    When the CPI-W drops or remains unchanged, Social Security recipients are generally not given a COLA.

    But in October, the SSA said it will increase the COLA to 5.9 percent.

    It represents the largest increase since the 1980s.

  • When your benefits are late

    If you believe your Social Security check was stolen, you need to contact the SSA office immediately.

    If your delay is due to a change in personal information, such as a banking account or address, call your local SSA office or 1-800-772-1213 (Monday through Friday, 7am – 7pm).

    For any other delays, the SSA suggests you wait three business days for your check to arrive.

    After that date, you should call the SSA.

  • Why is your payment late?

    Your payment could be delayed for several reasons.

    The most common is that the SSA office, in charge of issuing the payments, is experiencing a slow down in their process.

    The only thing to do is patiently wait until your check arrives. 

    Another reason your check may be late could be linked to the fact that you recently changed your home address and forgot to notify the SSA office.

    Plus, if you changed bank accounts recently you must notify the SSA because this could also delay your payment.

  • Holiday payments, continued

    The holidays will affect payments for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, a group that typically gets benefits on the first of the month.

    Since January 1 is a federal holiday, SSI benefits are usually sent out the day prior.

    New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday this year and the holiday will be observed on a Friday.

    That means eligible SSI recipients will get two payments this month — one on the first and the second on December 30, which is the last Thursday of the month.

  • When is Social Security paid during holidays?

    Typically, the date of the month you were born is what decides when you’ll get your Social Security check.

    For December, those with birth dates on the first through the 10th of the month should have gotten their Social Security checks on December 8.

    Those born on the 11th through the 20th should have received their checks on December 15.

    All birth dates after the 20th will be paid out on December 22.

  • Shorter wait times for help, part two

    A new portal for Medicare claimants is also in the works to help target ways to save money on healthcare and drugs. 

    “You should be able to apply for Social Security benefits without needing to go to a Social Security office and have Medicare proactively reach out to you with the tools you need to manage your health and save money,” Mr Biden told reporters ahead of signing the order. 

    Other Americans who get benefits such as food stamps will also find it easier to receive them and to confirm eligibility and income, Bloomberg reported.

    While the order should be positive for benefit claimants across the US, it’s not yet clear when the measures will be implemented.

  • Shorter wait times for help with benefits

    An executive order signed by President Joe Biden aims to help Americans get government benefits, including Social Security and food stamps, faster. 

    The order signed by President Biden on December 13 will require the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to call back Americans rather than placing them on hold. 

    Social Security benefit seekers will also get a new online tool that aims to cut wait times.

  • Reporting Social Security scams

    If you suspect an email you got from the Social Security Administration may be fraudulent, you’re urged to avoid responding or clicking on any links in the message.

    The SSA said you should report the email by forwarding it to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) at phishing-report@us-cert.gov.

  • Avoiding Social Security scams

    The Social Security Administration said Americans can avoid fraudulent calls and internet “phishing” schemes by not revealing personal information, clicking malicious links, or opening suspicious attachments.

    The agency said most emails from Social Security will come from a “.gov” email address.

    If an email address does not end in “.gov”, use caution before opening attachments or clicking on pictures or links.

    You can learn more about how to protect your personal information and online account on the administration’s security webpage.

  • Retire at 70 for maximum benefit

    The biggest reason why it makes sense to wait until 70 before claiming Social Security is the boost you get for delaying that long.

    If you claim at 62, you could see your benefits reduced as much as 30 percent, according to the Social Security Administration.

    If you wait until your full retirement age, you’ll get 100 percent of your monthly benefit.

    If you delay benefits for an additional 12 months, you’ll receive 108 percent of the monthly benefit and if you wait until 70, you’ll receive 132 percent.

    If you fully take advantage of everything from your work and earnings history to delaying your claim – it’s possible you can earn the maximum Social Security benefit.

    In 2022, the maximum benefit will be boosted to $4,194 a month.

  • How does early retirement affect COLA?

    If you choose to claim benefits before your full retirement age, you may receive less.

    Waiting until full retirement age, which varies between 66 years and two months to 67 depending on when you were born, will give you a higher monthly payment.

    Delaying your claim until age 70 will also help you receive maximum benefits.

  • Issues with COLA raise

    The trust that funds Social Security benefits could run out of cash a year earlier due to the COLA increase.

    The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has projected that this could happen in 2032 following the hike, reports Fox Business.

    It comes after officials recently estimated that funding will run out in 2033 – a year earlier than previously predicted.

  • Millions will receive bigger checks

    More than 64million people receiving Social Security are set to get a bigger check in January.

    Payments in the new year will be the first to include the 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment.

    That’s the highest increase since 1982.

    The last time COLA came close was in 2009, when it was 5.8%

    The annual adjustments are based on inflation.

  • When your benefits are late

    If you believe your Social Security check was stolen, you need to contact the SSA office immediately.

    If your delay is due to a change in personal information, such as a banking account or address, call your local SSA office or 1-800-772-1213 (Monday through Friday, 7am – 7pm).

    For any other delays, the SSA suggests you wait three business days for your check to arrive.

    After that date, you should call the SSA.

  • What is the formula for COLA?

    The COLA is calculated based on third-quarter data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) each year.

    When the CPI-W drops or remains unchanged, Social Security recipients are generally not given a COLA.

    However, prices rose 5.4 percent for the 12 months ending September, the Bureau of Labor confirmed in October.

  • When is next year’s COLA determined?

    The 5.9 percent increase for 2022 was determined on October 13, 2021.

    The next COLA increase for 2023 will be determined in October 2022.

  • Inflation takes its toll

    Inflation has become much worse in recent months, with Americans looking to return to normal life.

    The latest data on inflation from the Bureau of Labor shows that consumer prices rose 5.4 percent in the year to September – a troubling trend for seniors relying on Social Security checks.

    Typically, inflation triggers when the supply doesn’t meet the demand – resulting in rising prices across the economy.

    Everything in necessities from food to gas has gotten much more expensive.

  • When did COLA begin?

    Cost-of-living adjustments began when legislation was passed in 1973.

    The intention is to use COLAs for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to keep up with inflation rates, according to the Social Security Administration.





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