2022 Benefit Increase Largest in 40 Years for SSI, SSDI, Vets

Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration just announced the largest benefit increase since 1982 — a whopping 5.9% for 2022. The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase affects the following people:

  • Veterans receiving monthly VA disability compensation or pension payments as well as their eligible dependents
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
  • Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries and eligible dependents
  • Retirees receiving regular Social Security payments each month

Below, we’ll explain how the new benefit increase breaks down, money-wise, plus other changes related to the 2022 COLA.

SSD Benefit Increase Adds Up to At Least $900 More Per Year

So, how does the new benefit increase affect those who qualify for SSD benefits? Here’s what average payments will look like in 2022 for different households:

  • $76 more per month for individuals who qualify for SSD ($907.68 more annually than in 2021)
  • $1,358/month is the average SSD payment for 2022, up from $1,282 in 2021
  • $2,383/month is the average SSD payment for disabled workers with an eligible spouse and one or more dependent children in 2022, up from $2,250/month in 2021

In addition, the 2022 COLA benefit increase raises the maximum SSD payment to $3,345/month. To get this amount, you must earn at least $140,000 annually for 10+ years before becoming too disabled to work. Find the date you can expect your first check with your benefit increase on the SSA’s online payment schedule for 2022.

SSI Benefit Raises Begin on December 30, 2021

SSI beneficiaries are also getting a benefit increase in 2022, adding another $47/month for individuals. The maximum SSI payment for 2022 is $841/month per person, or $1,261/month per couple. Couples who qualify for SSI in 2022 will receive an additional $564 in annual benefits compared to previous years. The household income limit to qualify for SSI in 2022 will also increase to $1,350/month, up from $1,310/month in 2021.

How the 2022 Benefit Increase Affects Military Veterans

Retired military service members can expect $59 more per month for every $1,000 they currently receive in VA pension benefits. Relatives of deceased veterans who qualify for VA survivor’s benefits will also receive a 5.9% monthly pay increase. For VA disability compensation, the pay increase depends on your current P&T rating:

  • $8.50 more per month for vets with a 10% VA disability rating
  • $185.65 more per month for vets with a 100% VA disability rating

Retirees Get $92 More Per Month in Social Security Payments

The 2022 COLA increase also brings a significant bump in regular Social Security payments to retirees. In 2021, the average payment for retired seniors was $1,565. However, the benefit increase for 2022 should bring average Social Security payments up to $1,657/month. That’s another $1,104 per year in Social Security retirement benefits, on average.

Medicare Part B Premiums Also Going Up in 2022

In previous years, rising Medicare costs might essentially “zero out” any benefit increase from the new COLA. However, 2022 looks like it might just change that annual trend. While Medicare trustees won’t announce official 2022 costs until November, sources expect the following changes to go into effect:

  • $158.50/month for Medicare Part B premiums
  • $10 increase in average monthly cost for 2022 compared to 2021

SSD recipients qualify for Medicare 24 months after the SSA approves their benefit claims. So do seniors once they reach their 65th birthday. So, the Medicare monthly cost increase should impact those people as well as retirees getting regular Social Security payments.

Want the SSA to award you the highest possible SSD payment each month the first time you apply? Having a Social Security attorney file your disability paperwork nearly triples your chances for SSD approval. What’s more, you can sign up for free claim help and get legal advice over the phone through this website! Since every lawyer we connect you with works on contingency, you pay nothing up front for legal assistance. If you don’t win benefits, you owe your lawyer $0 for helping you. But if you do win a cash award, then you only pay a small, one-time fee.

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.