SS COLA 2022: New Year, New Beginnings

Every year, or at least almost every year, the Social Security Administration provides a small increase in Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and other disability payments.  This increase is called the Cost-of-Living Adjustment or COLA.  SS COLA 2022 is no different as the Social Security Administration has recently released a generous COLA for the New Year. One could say it is a gift for the Holidays and a new start to the New Year given the troubles and difficulties faced by everyone over the last several years.  However, before we get to 2022’s payment increases, let us look at a bit of history surrounding COLAs.

The History of Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Although the Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1935, that was only for retirement benefits and did not contemplate payments for disability.  It was not until 1956 when amendments were introduced to include monthly disability for injured or sick workers (These amendments were signed into law by President Eisenhower).  Despite this, it was not until almost 20 years later, in 1975, that the cost-of-living adjustments became an “automatic” annual adjustment to disability benefits payments.  The amendment that made this automatic cost of living adjustment was actually included with the 1972 amendments but took longer than expected to put into practice (amendments that were signed by President Nixon for anyone still interested in who signed what into law).  While there have been numerous changes and amendments to Social Security Disability in the nearly 50 years since, the COLA process has remained fairly consistent throughout those 50 years.  Annually, the Social Security Administration considers adjustments to payments and, more often than not, they provide some sort of increase each year.

Cost of Living Adjustments

2022 Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Fortunately, for 2022, the Social Security Administration has provided a generous cost-of- living adjustment.  For 2022, the COLA increase to people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Disabled Widows, Children’s Benefits, or any other Social Security Disability payments is 5.9%.  Just in case you are interested in some history, this is the largest cost-of-living adjustment since 1982.  Furthermore, the 5.9% increase in SS COLA 2022 far outstrips the last decade of COLA increases which averaged just 1.6% per year.  In fact, during the last 10 years, SS COLA increases never exceeded 3.6% (all the way back in 2012), and recipients saw no increase, or 0% increase, in 2010, 2011, and 2016 (I would also throw 2017 into this category as a mere 0.3% increase occurred).  Thus, the SS COLA 2022 increase is what I would consider a Christmas Miracle, a wonderful start to the New Year, especially considering the difficult times we have faced over the last several years with the pandemic and with the overall state of Social Security. 

The SS COLA 2022 increase technically takes effect for your December 2021 payment.  However, this means you will not receive your first payments with increased benefits until January 2022 as the Social Security Administration pays benefits for the month prior.  Thus, for those receiving SSI, it will be given with the payment that occurs at the beginning of the month. For those receiving other benefits, such as SSDI, the increase will occur on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Wednesday of the month depending on when your birthday falls (or when you usually receive your payments).

A few other notes in passing, this COLA also applies to Social Security Retirement benefits.  If you are interested in a more detailed look at recent COLA information, please see our 2021 blog on the 2021 cost-of-living adjustment.

cost of Living list 2022 ss cola

GKT SS Disability Attorney is Here to Help You

You do not have to do anything to receive the increased payments from the SS COLA 2022.  However, if you have a disability claim pending, this is certainly a good time to review how your claim for Social Security Disability is processing.  We can review your situation with you at no cost to you.  In addition, if you or a family member are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability benefits, we can talk you through those steps and help you understand the process and try and prevent any delays to obtaining your benefits.  Social Security Disability can be a lengthy and complex process, and we can help you navigate the challenges.

Remember, you do not have to go through this process alone.  An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can make the process easier for you, eliminate delays, and help you obtain the Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, or other disability benefits that you are entitled to.  My name is Taylor Potts, and I am the dedicated SS Disability attorney at GKT.  GKT has years of experience representing clients with their disability benefits claims and we may be able to assist you too.  Contact our office today 24 hours a day at (304) 845-9750, through our Live Chat feature on our website, or by completing our online form.  We can help you obtain the benefits you deserve and have earned.


Taylor Potts

Social Security Disability Attorney

Taylor D. Potts is a Social Security and Veterans Affairs Disability lawyer at Gold Khourey & Turak.  Taylor has represented hundreds of people seeking disability benefits across West Virginia and Ohio.  Whether he’s representing a person seeking Social Security Disability benefits or VA Disability benefits, Taylor has the knowledge and experience to maximize his client’s chances at a successful outcome.