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What Changes Are Coming to Social Security Benefits in 2022?

November 1, 2021

social security disability benefit changes

October is the month the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces its upcoming changes to Social Security. About 70 million people in the U.S. receive Social Security, from retired to disabled workers. In 2022, these changes include new earning limits and an increase in monthly benefits for recipients.

It is important to stay informed of any changes to Social Security. This goes for both new applicants and existing beneficiaries. You do not want to jeopardize your eligibility for disability or have your benefits stopped or terminated. Getting SSDI or SSI benefits reinstated can take several months.

Dayes Law Firm has helped many people over the years obtain the disability benefits they need. Our intake staff is ready to take your call and set up a risk-free and confidential consultation. This initial meeting comes with no legal obligation. We also charge nothing up front to retain our services.

Call 1-800-503-2000 to talk to a lawyer.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment Highest in Four Decades

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is an increase in Social Security benefits to counteract inflation (the rising prices of goods and services). This inflation is calculated on an annual basis using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

In 2022, recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income will receive a 5.9 percent benefits increase. This is the highest COLA in four decades.

The maximum federal SSI payment will increase from $794 to $841 per month for individuals and from $1,191 to $1,261 per month for couples. The average Social Security benefit will also go up for:

  • Retired workers – $92 payment increase from $1,565 to $1,657 per month
  • Aged couples receiving benefits – $154 payment increase from $2,599 to $2,753 per month
  • Widowed spouses – $178 payment increase from $3,009 to $3,187 per month
  • Aged widowers – $86 payment increase from $1,467 to $1,553 per month
  • Married disabled workers – $133 payment increase from $2,250 to $2,383 per month
  • All other disabled workers – $76 payment increase from $1,282 to $1,358 per month

Full Retirement Age Increasing By Two Months

Anyone turning 62 in 2022 will need to wait a bit longer to claim their full retirement benefit. The full retirement age for those born in 1960 is 67. This is two months older than the full retirement age of 66 years and 10 months for those born in 1959. For those born between 1955 and 1959, the full retirement age will increase in two-month increments until at age 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

Claiming Social Security before reaching full retirement age is possible but will result in reduced payments. Early retirement at age 62 will reduce a beneficiary’s benefit amount by 30 percent.

The maximum Social Security benefit for those who wait until full retirement age will be $3,345 per month in 2022. This is a payment increase of $197 from $3,148.

New Earning Limits for Social Security Disability

To be eligible for disability, you cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Earning more than a certain amount on a monthly basis is generally considered to be engaging in SGA.

For non-blind individuals, the monthly SGA amount for 2022 is up to $1,350. SSDI and SSI recipients are able to earn $40 more per month or $480 more per year without getting their benefits terminated.

The monthly SGA amount for blind individuals for 2022 is $2,260. SSDI recipients can earn $70 more per month or $840 more per year without losing their benefits. For blind SSI recipients, SGA does not apply.

SSDI recipients eligible for a trial work period will also be able to earn more while they test their ability to work and still be deemed disabled for nine months. The trial work period does not apply for SSI.

Any month in which an SSDI recipient’s earnings exceed $970 in 2022 will be considered a month of services towards his or her trial work period. This is a $30 increase from 2021.

Social Security Benefits Remaining The Same

There are some Social Security benefits that will not be changing next year.

The resource limit will remain the same. To receive SSI, your countable resources (i.e. cash, personal property, stocks, bonds) cannot be worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

The current tax rate for Social Security will also remain at 6.2 percent for employees and 12.4 percent for those who are self-employed. There even continues to be no limit on the amount of earned income subject to Medicare taxes. Medicare is available to certain disabled individuals under age 65.

Have Social Security Questions? Call Us

Get answers to your questions by reaching out to a qualified Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer at our firm. We are prepared to guide you through the application process. If your disability claim has already been denied, we are here to help file an appeal on your behalf.

Our initial consultations are free of charge. There is no risk or obligation involved. We do not get paid unless we help you obtain benefits.

Experience you can trust. 1-800-503-2000

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