The cost of living adjustment has been announced as 5.9% for 2022 — the highest percentage increase since 1982. For many people collecting SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), this is the highest increase in benefits they’ve seen yet. This is due to the drastic economic inflation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the SSA’s ongoing effort to meet the consumer price index for the needs of its beneficiaries.
Since 1975, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) has calculated the cost-of-living adjustment to line up the SSA’s federal benefits with the general cost of living. Factored in are essentials like groceries and services like transportation. However, even with this steep increase in benefits, those who rely on the federal benefits alone still may not be able to support themselves.
What Impact Will The 2022 COLA Have On My Monthly SSDI Benefits?
As the prices of everyday goods and services continue to rise, people collecting SSDI benefits should expect to see about a $76 a month increase in disability benefits, with the average monthly benefit being $1,358. While this might seem substantial for some, it is unfortunately likely not enough for those who rely on benefits to pay their everyday bills and expenses.
This is nothing new to beneficiaries who are exclusively living on the payments. The buying power of those who rely on SSDI benefits has always been historically insufficient, even as the SSA claims to be keeping up with the federally determined cost of living. The COLA often neglects living and medical expenses and other necessities like energy costs. Unfortunately the federal government will not take this into account until absolutely necessary.
“We’re at a point in time where people don’t react to policy needs until there is a sense of desperation, and both Social Security and Medicare are programs that benefit from long-range planning rather than short-range machinations,” says Marilyn Moon, an economist. She has served as a public trustee for Social Security, as well as Medicare.
Trust Our Family of SSD Attorneys
At Henson Fuerst Attorneys, we are a family practice that will treat you like our own. Whether you are applying for SSDI benefits or have been wrongfully denied, we are listening and here to help. Big or small, your case matters to us — submit an inquiry form on our website or call our office toll-free at 919-781-1107 today for a free legal consultation.