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COLA Social Security payment schedule 2022 — Recipients may see checks increase to $4,555 in 2023 — see if you qualify

Social Security checks set for a big raise in 2023
Exact date when Social Security COLA comes in
Exact dates Social Security benefits will be paid each month

NEXT year, Social Security checks for as much as $4,555 could go out to millions of Americans after a potentially historic yearly cost-of-living increase (COLA), higher than any since the 1980s.

With inflation continuing to rise, the COLA for benefits could be as high as 8.6 percent in 2023, per The Senior Citizens League.

The 8.6 percent increase would mean that the average benefit would climb by about $143 per month to $1,800, whereas the maximum would jump by roughly $361 to $4,555.

The estimate comes after the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 8.5 percent in March - the largest 12-month increase since December 1981.

Meanwhile, the average Social Security benefit in 2022 is $1,657, while the maximum is $4,194 a month.

Benefits from Social Security are calculated annually using a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Read our COLA 2022 increase live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Amanda Castro

    Alternatives to COLA

    Some have questioned the methodology used to determine the cost of living adjustment, according to TheBalance.com.

    The SSA bases its COLA hikes on the CPI-W.

    The spending habits of urban wage earners and clerical employees are used to create this index.

    The index is made up of people who are employed and earning money. They aren’t retired people.

  • Amanda Castro

    When was CPI introduced?

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was created to determine appropriate pay increases during World War I, a period of rapidly rising prices, according to Encyclopedia.com.

    In 1935, the Social Security retirement system was founded.

    In the decades that followed, Congress increased Social Security benefits on a regular basis to compensate for slow inflation as assessed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

  • Amanda Castro

    CPI: what is CPI-E?

    The CPI-E is a weighted average of price changes for the same set of item strata as the CPI-U and CPI-W, taken from the same sample of urban regions.

    Retail establishments in the CPI are chosen for pricing based on data from a separate survey of all metropolitan residents.

  • Amanda Castro

    CPI: what is CPI-U?

    The CPI-U is a price index that tracks the average change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services over time.

    Because it covers more demographics than the CPI-W, it provides a more comprehensive assessment of price trends.

    • Clerical workers
    • Retirees
    • Self-employed professionals
    • Technical workers
    • Temporary workers
    • Wage-earners
  • Amanda Castro

    CPI: what is CPI-W?

    This kind of CPI is used by the Social Security Administration to determine inflation and apply cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics utilizes the same processes to compute CPI-W as it does for CPI, but with elements that impact specific demographics.

  • Amanda Castro

    What is CPI?

    Companies may use the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, to decide how much to modify compensation owing to inflation.

    One of the most often used measures for measuring inflation is the Consumer Price Index.

  • Amanda Castro

    Claiming full benefits

    Your full Social Security benefit depends on the age you retire.

    If you retire at 67, which is the full retirement age, in January 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345.

    If you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364, according to the Social Security Administration.

    If you retire at age 70 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $4,194.
    The SSA also confirmed that the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax would increase this month.

    This will increase from $142,800 to $147,000, following an increase in average wages.

  • Amanda Castro

    Why does Social Security tend to not go far?

    The maximum benefit is $3,345 a month for someone who files for Social Security in 2022 at full retirement age (FRA).

    FRA is the age at which you qualify for 100 percent of the benefit calculated from your earnings history.

    This is $40,140 annually. However, the average rent in the United States is about $1,100 to $1,200.

    This leaves a retiree with $25,740 annually, which is just above the poverty line.

    When you plan for retirement, it’s important to remember that Social Security is only meant to cover about 40 percent of pre-retirement income.

  • Amanda Castro

    Delayed retirement credit explained, part two

    You can begin to receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but it will reduce your benefits by as much as 30 percent below what you would get if you waited to retire until your full retirement age.

    If you wait until your full retirement age (66 for most people), you will be able to obtain your full benefits.

  • Amanda Castro

    Delayed retirement credit explained

    If you wait until age 70 to start achieving your benefits, the Social Security Administration will increase your benefit, since you gained delayed retirement credits.

    The retirement benefits are then paid out until you die.

    The age you begin receiving your retirement benefit affects how much your monthly benefits will be. 

  • Amanda Castro

    What payments are influenced by COLA?

    There are three programs run by the Social Security administration that are impacted by the COLA each year.

    Along with Social Security, the adjustment boosts yearly benefits for SSI and SSDI claimants.

    In 2022, the average SSI benefit is $621 per month, while the maximum is $841, according to the SSA.

    Meanwhile, it’s a little more complex for SSDI.

    The benefit amount will depend on the age you became disabled, your employment history (including the average amount of income you once earned), and your period of eligibility.

  • Amanda Castro

    June Social Security schedule

    The last batch of May Social Security checks with the increased COLA for the month is going out this week.

    The exact dates your Social Security check arrives depend on your birthday.

    For June, the schedule is as follows:

    • Second Wednesday: June 8
    • Third Wednesday: June 15
    • Fourth Wednesday: June 22
  • Amanda Castro

    Action on Social Security bill coming ‘soon’

    Democratic congressman John B Larson of Connecticut proposed a bill in the fall that would switch the index the COLA tracks to the CPI-E.

    This would track the costs of services and goods that seniors typically use.

    Larson told ThinkAdvisor that the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee intends on debating the measure soon. 

    “We are in the process of working toward markup, which will be held hopefully very soon,” he said.

  • Amanda Castro

    Beneficiaries most and least reliant on SS, continued

    Among the important findings, SmartAsset discovered that residents in cities with low total retirement rely on Social Security the most, GoBankingRates reported.

    Furthermore, in every location studied, Social Security benefits account for more than a quarter of retirement income.

    According to the study, Miami has the lowest percentage of Social Security making up overall retirement income, at 26.90 percent.

    Although several communities in California have high populations of people aged 65 and over, they rely the least on Social Security between 30.1 and 36.6 percent of total retirement income.

  • Amanda Castro

    Beneficiaries most and least reliant on SS

    SmartAsset, a financial technology firm located in New York City, has evaluated Social Security incomes for the 100 US cities with the largest population of people aged 65 and above.

    This was done to evaluate where Social Security makes up the highest and lowest percentage of total retirement income, according to GoBankingRates.

    The study looked at two variables from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey: average retirement income and average Social Security income.

  • Amanda Castro

    Who qualifies for Social Security explained

    To qualify, seniors must have worked for a certain number of years and paid into the Social Security system for a certain amount of time.

    The amount received depends upon when you were born, your earnings history, and when you begin to claim benefits.

    Some households are also subject to paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, usually if significant additional earnings, including wages, self-employed earnings, dividends, or other taxable income.

    It’s important to note that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) differs from monthly Social Security benefits. SSI payments are not taxable.

  • Amanda Castro

    Help for recipients, continued

    Financial assistance not listed below may affect SSI eligibility or payment amount, according to the Social Security Administration.

    Find more information about the programs offered on the administration’s Emergency Assistance for Homeowners and Renters webpage.

  • Amanda Castro

    Additional help for recipients

    The Social Security Administration is informing recipients about help available for homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Financial help can affect eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or monthly SSI amounts.

    However, emergency financial assistance received from the following programs and funds will not count against a recipient’s eligibility or payment amount, according to the Social Security Administration:

    • Emergency Rental Assistance Fund
    • Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing/Rural Rental Assistance
    • Homeowner Assistance Fund
    • Housing Assistance and Supportive Services Programs for Native Americans
  • Amanda Castro

    ‘Concerned about making ends meet’

    The Senior Citizens League launched an online petition in August 2021 to get seniors a $1,400 stimulus check.

    It has over 100,000 signatures.

    Shannon Benton with the Senior Citizens League told The Sun: “We have received hundreds of emails from people concerned about making ends meet.”

    “The high cost of living adjustment, for many, just exacerbated their financial woes by bumping their income above program limits to qualify for medicare savings programs and extra help.”

  • Seniors living in poverty

    According to the Congressional Research Service, nearly five million Americans aged 65 and older lived in poverty in 2019.

    With millions on a fixed income or living at or below the poverty level, the Senior Citizens League continues to push to get another stimulus check into the hands of seniors.

  • Schedule of benefits for 2022

    Social Security benefits are released on a schedule according to a claimant’s date of birth.

    Those with a birthday between the 1st and 10th of the month can expect their first payment on the second Wednesday of the month.

    The third Wednesday of the month is reserved for those with a birthday between the 11th and 20th.

    Claimants with birthdays between the 21st and 31st can expect to receive payments on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

    This schedule holds steady through the 2022 calendar year.

  • $179 per month boost in SS checks

    Non-profit group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget claims that this year's greater inflation might result in the COLA almost doubling to as high as 10.8 percent (CRFB).

    The average Social Security payout would increase by $179 to $1,835 per month as a result.

  • When the Government Pension Offset rule doesn't apply

    Under the following circumstances, anyone who had worked for the federal, state, or municipal government will also be exempt from the Government Pension Offset:

    • Your last day of work was before July 1, 2004
    • You filed for and were entitled to spouses' benefits before April 1, 2004
    • You paid Social Security taxes on your earnings during the last 60 months of government service.
  • Rules that can reduce SS: Government Pension Offset

    The Government Pension Offset is another regulation that applies to partners, widows, and widowers.

    The benefits for spouses, widows, and widowers are eliminated or scaled back under this regulation.

    The payout will be reduced by two-thirds of the non-covered pension's amount.

    Your Social Security income can be eliminated if the two-thirds is more than it.

    Those who get a government pension that is not dependent on wages are exempt from this provision.

  • When the Windfall Elimination Provision affects you

    The WEP can affect you if:

    • You turned 65 after 1985
    • You developed a disability after 1985
    • You performed federal service under the Civil Service Retirement System after 1956
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