Here’s How Much the Average Social Security Benefit Could Rise in 2022 | Smart Change: Personal Finance


The big question is: What would a 6.2% COLA actually look like, in terms of extra monthly payout, for the average Social Security beneficiary?

The answer really depends on what you consider to be the definition of “average beneficiary.”

For example, most people associate Social Security with providing for retired workers. In July 2021, 72.1% of the program’s 65.04 million people were retirees. Based on the $1,556.72 the average retired worker received from the program in July, and taking into account the uptick in the average payout since the year began (the average retired worker payout was $1,543.07 in January), we can estimate that $1,568 will be the average payout come December.

If a 6.2% COLA were passed along in January 2022, based on this figure, the average retired worker would see a monthly benefit increase of about $97 to $1,665, working out to an annual jump of a little over $1,165.

However, Social Security also provides monthly benefits for more than 8 million disabled workers and 5.8 million survivors of deceased workers. In July, the average monthly benefit for disabled workers was $1,280.62, while the average monthly survivor benefit was $1,249.05. By December, the average monthly disabled worker payout should be roughly $1,283, with survivors bringing home in the neighborhood of $1,254 each month.