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In January 2022, about 70 million Social Security recipients will get a 5.9% increase in their usual monthly check. It will be the biggest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) ever. The increase for about 8 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will begin on December 30, 2021. Some people receive both Social Security benefits and SSI.
The last time a significant COLA increase like the upcoming one was back in the 1980s. Getting a large increase is very good news for all Social Security beneficiaries. Increases in the last few years averaged around 1.3%. In 2016, there was no increase at all.
Social Security recipients are looking forward to seeing a larger check. However, everyone will not receive their increase on the same date. Even though all checks will be distributed in January, the exact date will differ from person to person. So, don't become alarmed if your friend gets hers on a date earlier than you do. You will get yours depending on a special factor.
Read the following information and find out what that special fact is and when to expect the check with your increase.
Your Check Depends on Your Birthday
Checks will be distributed three times each month. The exact date when you get your check with the increase depends on your birthday. For example, if you were born on the 5th of the month, you will get your check much earlier than those who have birthdays later in the month.
Keep the following schedule in mind to determine which one of the three Wednesdays you will receive your check with the new amount.
- Birthdays on 1 through 10: Payments will be issued on the second Wednesday of each month. That means you will receive your first payment with the 2022 COLA on January 12.
- Birthdays on 11 through 20: You will receive your payments on the third Wednesday. That means you will receive your first 2022 payment on January 19.
- Birthdays on 21 through 31: You will receive your payments on the fourth Wednesday. That means you will receive your first 2022 payment on January 26.
Special Note: Those Wednesdays don't always have the same date. The date changes each month. Just remember the checks will be sent out on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays of each month no matter what the date is.
- If you started receiving Social Security benefits before May 1997, you will receive your Social Security payment on the third of each month. Therefore, the Wednesday schedules won't apply to you.
- If you receive both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you will receive your check on the third of each month.
How to Know the Amount of Your January Check
In case you are wondering what your January 2022 check will be with the increase, you can do the math yourself by adding 5.9% to what you are already getting.
If you want to make sure of the exact amount you will be getting, go to your Social Security account in December 2021.
COLA and Medicare
Even though about 70 million people will receive the 5.9% increase, not all of them will see the full amount in their checks. That depends on their Medicare Part B premium that is usually deducted from Social Security payments. Because Part B premiums are increasing, the full amount of the COLA increase will not be as noticeable.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new rates for 2022. The new rates will be much higher because there was no increase last year due to the pandemic. Even with a higher rate, the COLA increase will more than likely cover the increase in your Medicare Part B monthly premium. You will be notified by mail in December 2021 what the exact premium will be.
Here are things to keep in mind about your Social Security check in January 2022.
- Social Security recipients and SSI recipients will get a 5.9% increase added to what they are already getting.
- In December 2021, recipients will be notified by mail of the exact amount of their new check.
- In December 2021, recipients will be able to see their new amount on their online account.
- Medicare rates are going up in January because there was no increase last year. Even so, the Social Security increase will more than likely cover the Medicare Part B premium, and beneficiaries may still see an increase even if it is not the total amount.
- Checks with the new increase will be distributed on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays based on a person's birthday.
- Know that all Wednesdays in 2022 do not fall on the same date. Therefore, do not rely on any particular date to expect your check. Instead, always depend on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays no matter which date they fall on.