If you receive Supplemental Security Income benefits, you have likely noticed that your monthly payment will not go as far as it once did. SSI recipients and recipients of other Social Security benefits are battling high inflation as these Americans attempt to use their benefits to pay for basic living expenses. As you might already know, the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes annual cost-of-living adjustments to benefit amounts. So, how much was the adjustment for 2022, and how much can you expect your SSI check to be now? Keep reading as we give you all the details about your 2022 SSI payments.
Social Security & SSI Payment Amounts For 2022
An eligible individual can expect an SSI payment amount of $841 in 2022. For an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, the amount will rise to $1,261. This is a 5.9% increase from the 2021 benefit amounts. The 5.9% COLA adjustment for 2022 is the highest Social Security increase in many years. The reason for the large increase is due to high inflation and a large jump in the consumer price index. You should know, however, that the amounts mentioned above are the maximum amounts that you can receive for SSI benefits. If you have other countable income, then your payment amount may be decreased according to the amount of your other income.
For retirees, they will also see a 5.9% jump in their Social Security payments in 2022. These larger Social Security checks will allow them to keep up with the current cost of living. Social Security retirement benefits are calculated based on a worker’s lifetime earnings, but the maximum benefit that an individual can receive at full retirement age in 2022 is $3,345. If that worker waits until age 70 to start their benefits, then this amount will increase to $4,194.
What Beneficiaries Can Expect For 2022
So, when can beneficiaries expect to see their increases for 2022? For SSI recipients, they will begin to receive their increased amount on their December 30, 2021 payment. Social Security retirement beneficiaries will see their COLA increase in their monthly benefit payments in January 2022.
What about the 2022 inflation rate and associated Social Security COLA increase? The Biden administration continues to report high inflation according to the CPI-W, or Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This number is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If inflation continues at the current rate due to the COVID pandemic, the 2023 adjustment is likely to be high again. There are no estimates about the specific amount of the increase next year, but it could be on par with the 2022 increase that was based on last year’s inflation rate.
Checking Your Eligibility For SSI
If you are disabled, how can you check whether you are eligible for SSI? Thankfully, the eligibility requirements for SSI are not as difficult to meet as those for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. There are some major differences between SSI and SSDI. To qualify for SSDI, Social Security beneficiaries must have sufficient work history. In most cases, this means that a person must work at least ten years and pay Social Security taxes into the system to be eligible to receive disability payments. To qualify for SSI, an individual does not need a work history.
SSI eligibility does, however, require limited income and resources. You must earn less than $841 per month according to the Federal rules. However, the rules explaining what constitutes “countable income” are very complex. In some cases, you might still have SSI benefits payable to you even though your income exceeds the maximum amount of earnings allowed by the program. In that case, your countable income may be subtracted from your SSI payments so that you receive a lower benefit amount.
There is no simple way to check your eligibility for SSI benefits. The best thing to do is create a My Social Security account at SSA.gov and apply for benefits online. The Social Security Administration will process your application and either approve or deny your benefits. If your benefits are denied, then you have the right to appeal that decision. In most cases, applications are denied because the applicant does not have a qualifying disability that prevents them from working. Many people choose to hire an attorney after their initial application is denied to help win their SSI appeal.
The Bottom Line
Social Security recipients can expect their 2022 checks to be quite a bit larger than the checks they received in 2021. The 2022 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is 5.9%. This means that benefit recipients will see an increase of 5.9% in their payment amounts. For SSI recipients, this means that your checks will be $841 in 2022 for qualified individuals. Retired workers will see the same level of increase in their benefit checks as well. Though things could still change, it appears that the 2023 increase will be higher than normal as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What month will Social Security increase in 2022?
All Social Security recipients see their increases at the beginning of the year. For SSI recipients, the COLA increase was included on the December 30, 2021 check. It will also be included in all checks going forward in 2022. For other Social Security recipients, the increase will be included with their first January payment. The annual increases are always determined toward the end of the year, and the increased amounts are included in the first check of the new year.
Will these payments be taxable?
Many people wonder whether Social Security benefits are taxable. SSI benefit amounts are not taxable. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must have limited income and resources. By qualifying for these payments, it has already been determined that your income is below the threshold for taxing Social Security benefits. However, if you receive Social Security retirement benefits, a portion of those amounts could be taxable depending on your total income. If you earn less than $25,000, your Social Security benefits are not taxable. If your total income exceeds $25,000 but is below $34,000, 50% of your retirement benefits will be taxed. Finally, if your income exceeds $34,000, 85% of your Social Security benefits will be taxed. Remember that income can come from many sources — not just a job. You might receive taxable income from other retirement accounts like an IRA or 401k, and this income is included in the calculation to determine whether your benefits are taxable.