Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment [COLA] for 2022

School of Social Security & Medicare

2022 Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment [COLA]

Each year, the Social Security Administration announces annual benefit increases based on inflation. For 2022, both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income [SSI] beneficiaries will receive a 5.9% increase to their monthly checks.

2022 Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment Details

At 5.9%, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment [COLA] for 2022 is much higher than in recent years. The average COLA from 2015-2020 was just 1.3%. In 2022, the average retiree will see an increase of $92 a month to their monthly benefit check, taking it from $1,565 to $1,657. The maximum monthly benefit for a retired worker will also increase by $197 to $3,345.

The annual COLA is determined each year based on the inflation rate. COLAs are calculated using price increases from the third quarter of the previous year through the third quarter of the current year. For the 2022 COLA calculation, the calculation was based on inflation from Q3 2020 through Q3 2021.

The gauge used to calculate the Social Security COLA is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers [CPI-W] which is calculated each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

COLA for Those Who Are Delaying Benefits

Social Security benefits are increased for each month that you delay payments past your Full Retirement Age. For those born after 1943, benefits increase by 8% for each year that they are delayed. However, when benefits are delayed, it does not mean retirees lost the benefits from COLAs. In fact, at age 62 when retirees first become eligible for Social Security payments, Cost-of-Living Adjustments increase the amount you will receive whenever you begin taking payments.

Timing for 2022 COLA Increases

Approximately 64 million Social Security recipients will see their benefits increase by 5.9% beginning in January 2022. The 8 million SSI beneficiaries, on the other hand, will see payment increased slightly earlier, starting on December 30, 2021.

To find out how your retirement benefits will be affected, you can review your Social Security account online. You should also receive a letter in December from the Social Security Administration detailing your benefits for the upcoming year.


At Meld, our team of wealth managers which consists of financial, legal and tax professionals can help you navigate the intricacies of Social Security and Medicare. Our experienced advisors can also help you plan, save, and invest for retirement.

Through decades of experience in managing clients’ wealth, we have developed a process called FINANCIAL FINGERPRINT™. This is a comprehensive financial plan that is quick to assemble, easy to understand and simple to modify. With your Financial Fingerprint™, you can be confident that you are on the road to a successful retirement. If you are ready to get started, contact us.

To stay up to date with changes in Medicare and Social Security, visit the School of Social Security & Medicare tab at Meld University. If you have questions about your Social Security benefits, reach out to our team here at Meld Financial.

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