Millions of Social Security recipients will get a 5.9 percent increase in benefits for 2022. The increase marks the largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 39 years amid a spike in inflation.
Estimates from the Social Security Administration show the COLA adds $92 a month for the average retiree, bringing the average monthly payment to $1,657.
An average couple’s benefits would increase by $154, bringing the monthly total to $2,753.
“We wait to hear every year what the increase is going to be, and every year it’s been so insignificant,” New York City resident Kitty Ruderman told AP. “This year, thank goodness, it will make a difference.”
However, some officials are concerned with the long-term financial stability of the program. This year’s Social Security trustee report highlighted the program’s shortfalls, indicating that it would be unable to pay full benefits within 15 years.
Rep. John Larson (D-CN), chairman of the House Social Security subcommittee and author of legislation addressing fixes for the program’s longevity, said constituents tell him seniors feel neglected by the Democrats.
“In town halls and tele-town halls, they’re saying, ‘We are really happy with what you did on the child tax credit, but what about us?'” Larson said. “In a midterm election, this is a very important constituency.”