Inflation is an economic phenomenon that happens when the prices of goods and services rise. Because prices are at a 13-year high, you may find your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits do not cover the soaring costs of food, rent, utilities and other necessary expenses.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration often makes cost-of-living adjustments to keep up with inflation. While you may not receive a COLA every year, you are likely to receive larger SSDI payments when inflation is high.
What is the 2022 increase?
Recently, the SSA announced a 5.9% COLA for SSDI recipients. If you receive SSDI benefits, you should receive a higher payment on your normal payment dates beginning in January 2022. A comparatively small number of SSDI recipients, though, may receive adjusted benefits payments as early as December 20, 2021.
Do you have to apply to receive the increase?
If you currently receive SSDI benefits, the SSA should mail you a letter that describes the COLA and when you should expect to receive it. You should not have to do anything else. That is, you do not have to apply to receive the increase, as the SSA automatically applies it to your regular payments.
Can the government take back a COLA?
If inflation drops, prices also are likely to return to normal or close to it. Fortunately, a reduction in consumer prices does not mean the end of your COLA. Once you begin receiving higher SSDI payments, you can typically count on them to continue.
Ultimately, while SSDI recipients still may have to budget to make ends meet, the 5.9% increase is likely to make things a bit easier in 2022 and beyond.