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Social security recipients to receive 5.9% cost of living increase

The permanent increase begins January 2022. It's the largest increase since 1982.

WASHINGTON — Lottie Hudson retired from D.C. Government in 2012.  Like many seniors, she said trying to stay in your home, pay bills and put food on the table while living on social security alone has been a struggle.  But she and the other 64 million social security recipients across the country will be getting a pay raise.  

A news release from the Social Security Administration states due to inflation, recipients can expect a permanent cost of living increase of 5.9% starting in January 2022. It's the largest increase since 1982.

“That would help me dramatically as far as extra food,” said Hudson, “I already tried to apply for food stamps.”  COLA, or cost of living adjustment, became automatic in 1975.  

According to a chart on the social security administration's website, the increases started significant at about 9% on average, then it flatlined with an average of 3 to 4% over the next 4 decades, last year it petered out to just 1.3%.

Hudson, like many seniors, has been relying on family members and friends to fill in the gaps. 

So how much more can she and the other recipients expect? The SSA broke it down this way: All retired singles receiving $1,565 last year will get $1,657 in 2022; couples go from $2,599 to $2,753. The increase also impacts 8 million disabled people receiving Supplemental Security Income or SSI.

As for Hudson, even though she wishes the increase would be more to make up for the portion Medicaid and taxes will take out, a little extra will go a long way.  

“I appreciate it and I’ll be happy to receive it that’s for sure,” she laughed.  The SSA will be notifying recipients on exactly how much they will receive in mailings due in December.  Recipients can also check their accounts online.

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