Pen with a social security disability insurance

Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will see an increase of 5.9% in their monthly benefits in 2022. The larger checks will help approximately 70 million Americans keep up with the rising costs resulting from inflation while the economy keeps recovering from the pandemic’s impact. The increased payments to SSDI beneficiaries will start in January 2022, while SSI recipients will see the changes a little earlier, beginning on December 30, 2021.

SSDI and SSI Amounts

In 2022, the average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,358 from $1,282. For a disabled worker who has a spouse and children, the average monthly payment will be $2,383, up by $133 or $1,596 annually. The Trial Work Period threshold for an SSDI recipient attempting to return to work will increase from $940 to $970 monthly.

The average 2021 monthly SSI benefit is $794 for an individual and $1,191 for a couple. In 2022, the monthly benefit will increase to $841 and $1,261 for individuals and couples, respectively. For students receiving SSI benefits, the income exclusion amount will increase from $1,930 a month to $2,040 a month, or from $7,770 to $8,230 for the whole year.

The substantial gainful activity threshold will rise to $1,350 per month, up from $1,310 in 2021. For blind workers, the SGA level will go to $2,260.

The Social Security Administration will notify people who receive SSDI and SSI benefits about their new payment amounts through mail and online through the Message Center on their Social Security account throughout December.

The Biggest Increase in Years

The 5.9% increase dwarfs the 1.3% boost that was made for 2021. It is the highest increase since 1982 when a 7.4% increase was determined. The SSA applies an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) compiled by the Department of Labor.

The CPI-W increases if there is a rise in inflation. The rise leads to goods and services being slightly more expensive. The annual COLA helps prevent inflation from eroding the purchasing power of SSDI and SSI benefits. It is determined by comparing the third quarter CPI-W of the current year and the previous one. There is no COLA if there is no increase in the CPI-W. In Chicago, a Social Security attorney can help a person with any issue concerning disability benefits.