Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2022

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a 5.9% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2022. This means that people on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are about to get a 5.9% increase in their benefits for 2022.

We have listed some example dollar amounts from SSA below, but you can find out your exact amount in your “my Social Security” account at Social Security will also mail paper notices in December.

SSI beneficiaries will begin receiving the increased payments on December 30, 2021. Social Security beneficiaries will begin receiving the increased payments in January 2022.

Noteworthy Changes

From the SSA’s COLA Fact Sheet, here are some actual dollar amounts with the 5.9% increase factored in:

SSI Federal Payment Standard

  • For an Individual, SSI will go from $794 to $841 per month
  • For Couples, SSI will go from $1,191 to $1,261 per month

SSI Student Exclusion

  • Monthly limit will go from $1,930 to $2,040
  • Annual limit will go from $7,770 to $8,230 per year

SSI Resource Limits

Sadly, there is no change here; it remains at $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Limit Increase

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit for Non-Blind will increase from $1,310 to $1,350 per month, and from $2,190 to $2,260 per month for those who are Blind.

Trial Work Period (TWP) Threshold Increase

Trial Work Period (TWP) threshold will increase from $940 to $970 per month.

Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in January 2022

  • All Retired Workers – increase from $1,565 to $1,657
  • Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits – increase from $2,599 to $2,753
  • Widowed Mother and Two Children – increase from $3,009 to $3,187
  • Aged Widow(er) Alone – increase from $1,467 to $1,553
  • Disabled Worker, Spouse and One or More Children – increase from $2,250 to $2,383
  • All Disabled Workers – increase from $1,282 to $1,358

Past Cost-of-Living Adjustments

This 2022 COLA is the largest increase since 1982, though 2009 came close at 5.8%.
This chart can be found on

COLA increases happen to retain the value of Social Security benefits against inflation. The rate of inflation is measured using the Consumer Price Index.

Before 1975, Social Security benefits were only increased when Congress “enacted special legislation”. We are certainly grateful that is no longer the case.

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