The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday that benefits are set to increase in 2022.
As per the SSA, these benefit rates went up to complement the cost of living measured by the Department of Labor — the biggest boost to benefits for nearly 40 years since 1982.
Economist Dr. Loren Scott told KATC he is surprised and confused by this adjustment, as the Consumer Price Index has only gone up within the past six months, so those cashing in can expect their purchasing power to remain the same overall.
"The good news is there is a COLA out there for them, the bad news is that it's not a really good thing for our economy to have 5.9% inflation," Scott said. "That's not good that creates all sorts of other kinds of problems in our economy that is not good."
Scott noting that some of the negatives stemming from rapid inflation include people investing in things that aren't the most lucrative, like land.
Dr. Stephen Barnes, associate professor of economics at UL told KATC that either way, this adjustment will be a huge benefit to seniors who live on a fixed income and rely on social security to get by.
"We've seen some big increases in prices for some categories of goods over the last year," Barnes said. "So this is going to help them catch up and be able to continue to carry on with a standard of living that they've been living with for the past several years."
According to the Social Security Administration, they will mail cost of living adjustment notices throughout December to those who qualify. If you want to know your new benefit amount sooner, the Administration suggests you get your COLA notice online here.
Other changes the Administration reported are to come in 2022 include a higher maximum amount of earnings dependent on Social Security payroll tax and a change to the retirement earnings test exempt amount.
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