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Why Your Social Security Check Could Go Up This Week

Social Security COLA
Social Security Card. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Big Surprise? There’s More Money in Your Social Security Check: If it weren’t for the current crippling high-inflationary environment ramping up prices on everything from beef to used cars, 2021 would indeed have been a banner year for Social Security recipients.

The reason is that this past fall, the Social Security Administration (SSA) confirmed that it would go ahead with a 5.9 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for this year—the largest witnessed in four decades.

Social Security Increase: More Money in Pocketbooks

What this means is that roughly seventy million Americans will start seeing noticeably bigger checks as soon as this week. Just how much? According to the SSA, retirees will be on the receiving end of an extra $93 a month on average, pushing up the estimated monthly average to $1,657. Meanwhile, a typical couple’s benefits will climb by about $150 to $2,754 per month and disabled workers will get a $75 increase for an average total of $1,358.

“The guaranteed benefits provided by Social Security and the COLA increase are more crucial than ever as millions of Americans continue to face the health and economic impacts of the pandemic,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins noted in a statement.

“Social Security is the largest source of retirement income for most Americans and provides nearly all income (90 percent or more) for one in four seniors,” she continued.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League. “Over the past twenty-one years, COLAs have raised Social Security benefits by 55 percent but housing costs rose nearly 118 percent and healthcare costs rose 145 percent over the same period,” she said in a statement.

Social Security Increase Timing: Birth Dates Key

Now that this sizeable Social Security “raise” is in the books, when can retirees exactly start seeing these more generous monthly payments? It all comes down to one’s birth date.

“For most beneficiaries, the payment date depends on your birth date. If you are receiving payments on the record of a retired, disabled or deceased worker (for example, spousal or survivor benefits), that person’s birthday sets the schedule,” AARP writes.

“Here’s how it works: If the birthday is on the 1st through the 10th, you are paid on the second Wednesday of each month. If the birthday is on the 11th through the 20th, you are paid on the third Wednesday of the month. If the birthday is on the 21st through the 31st, you are paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month,” it concludes.

Do be beware that if a scheduled payment date falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, the money will be sent out on the first preceding day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Note: This has been updated to reflect the change in dates of when COLA increases could hit bank accounts. 

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. DENISE DINGER

    January 8, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Social security lies I get 847a months and now they want to take out 170.00 a month for health insurance.

  2. Roger Blake

    January 8, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    I am on disability and I didn’t get a 75 dollar raise I go like 58 dollar raise and that doesn’t help much at all this day and age and with inflation and the pandemic. I got divorced and I can’t even afford a place to live. Our government has forgotten about us. We need help right now I have never voted in my life but I did this time but I think I made a mistake doing so because our government doesn’t care about people on ssi or ssdi or our veterans

  3. bronxbull1958

    January 8, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    This is not a raise for next week the headline is misleading
    This is regurgitation from the author who doesn’t know squat!

  4. Gary

    January 8, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    If the payments are scheduled on 2nd, 3rd, or 4th WEDNESDAY of each month, how could one of them fall on a WEEKEND?

  5. Bonnie

    January 8, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Do you proof read before publishing

  6. Sherri Ferguson

    January 8, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Oooohh keep patting yourselves on the back! It wasn’t only the last COLA increase we were rooked out of! Ya know my hubby worked 30+ years was close to the 6 figures when he had a stroke and died I worked 40 years. He passed…Social Sec issued a widows benefit of 800.00 a month of which to add insult to injury they deducted the 800.00 from my SSDI which I not only raised our 4 children without the Govt. handouts but I had to take some time when our children were needing my attention. SOOO Ultimately I should have gone on welfare. They reduced my disability from 2800.00 a month to 1134.00 a month. Oh I still get the 800.00 though! I get barely enough to pay my rent and wait in the food bank lines for the expired food while the lazy welfare mommas and lazy never worked a day in their lives are eating steak and unexpired food parking their Escalades on the grass in their 8 bedroom Section 8 houses bumpin out them babies. All said and done I actually net less than the Welfare SDI recipients (theynever worked for our Social Security) I also got stuck with the HOT tax where I paid Social Security twice every paycheck.What a kick in the ass knowing Both my husband and I put so much into securing our retirement. I am not eligible for food stamps I make 30.00 a month too much! They denied me the 282.00 a month I was origionally approved for. So don’t get on the media bragging about all you have done for us! Ole Uncle Biden just keeps dipping more! And Nancy pants is giving our lifes work away to illegals and people not deserving. Those people should be on Welfare not leaching off our retirement!
    Oh yeah…I have requested assistance at Social Security..I know the widows benefit is not right. When I reach someone I get comments… How much money do you think you should get.
    You know there is a cap on what we are entitled to! I know it should not be less than the SDI recipients.
    Got the reduction the month before covid. Also got my 5 years back pay
    32k lol my 1099′ reflect 105000.00????No one will help me. They keep telling me I receive Workers Comp…nooo that ended in 2014 and they are still pro rating my retirement!
    THANKS ALOT!!!

  7. Clyde

    January 8, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    BFD 5.9%!! Inflation is much higher that that plus the mandatory health insurence went up almost as high as the cost of living so in the end the adjusted SS check amount is actually lower than it was last year. I would like to see the fools in power try to live on what they expect the common tax payer to live on

  8. Ric Beavers

    January 8, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    The current administration acts as if they are doing social decurity recipients a favor, when in fact, they raised medicare by 23%,which in reality gives a TYPICAL c
    o.l.a. raise, its all smoke and mirrors people

  9. Judy Fauth

    January 9, 2022 at 7:03 am

    I apply for everything I can: PIPP, PIPP PLUS, AREA AGENCY ON AGIÑG, EBB, EXTRA HELP FOR RX, and every other program that I even think I can get help from.

    LEVEL BILLING ON DPL AND VECTREN.

    You’d be amazed at how many places will have programs that assist you but it takes phone calls and humbling yourself sometimes. I’m not too proud to state my age, that I’m a widow, and plead for their help.

    Your mortgage company has a program (I can’t think of the name of it right now) where you file a ton of paperwork, wait while they make their decision, and it usually results in lower house payments. Also, apply for Homestead status.

    I know this is long winded, but I was working making a high figure job, an illness made me retire which took all my savings, my checking and a years wait till I was of age to be on social security. Then my husband had a stroke and passed away and I’m down to one social security check and my income is below the poverty level.

    I don’t have time to do anything except look for more way to get assistance. I’m 76 and I have no intention of losing my house or choosing between meds or food. I’ll do whatever it takes. No assisted living places for me. If I can help you I will.

    Contact the officials you elected to get the programs or help you need, deserve and worked and paid into for years.

    Im sure im forgetting a lot so please forgive me. This money is ours. We worked and paid into it. So keep at it and get your rightful benefit. Keep your head up. This is not charity so don’t let them make you feel that way.

  10. Karen Carty

    January 9, 2022 at 7:33 am

    We are the fortunate masses who got a “Big Fat Raise” on Social Security. We get around 20 or 30 dollars less than last year per month due to insurance premiums! So, for those of you on “The Hill” that are patting yourselves on the back for your good deed while dining on steak and lobster, try to think of those now privileged enough to get one less meal a day and finding it necessary to devide their medication in half in order to survive. Surely you don’t really fool yourselves into believing you have done a good turn for your elders? If so, you need to back up and regroup. Thanks on behalf of my hungry and medication deprived fellow seniors.

  11. Linda Clark

    January 9, 2022 at 10:18 am

    It’s all bullshit…
    They put it in one hand and take it from the other hand, it’s called teasing…
    The rich stay rich and the rest of us are going to, well as they would say, deal with it…
    Will the death benefit go up now from $255 to $510???
    They are robbing the poor to pay the rich. I only got a $58.00 increase. What happened to the full amount?
    What happened to the $2,000 vice president Harris tauted when she was running for the people…
    None of our representatives are for the people. They are only for themselves and what benefits they can get from us, not for us…
    I don’t care what party affiliation you belong to, just do for the people like you’re supposed to…
    They also need to change the part that when you die, your SSI$$ money should go to the family or at least enough for a funeral…
    We live in the United States of America and we should not have hungry and homeless people.
    Our Vets should have the best coverage there is.
    What happened to our country???
    If we don’t turn this crappy government around, we’re going to become a third world country…
    We need compassionate representation from our bodies of power…

  12. D. Ledoux

    January 9, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    The Government does not need to think they did something great. The raise is taken away by the Medicare Health Care. Seriously Vote Red!!

  13. Betty J Albertson

    January 9, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    This is ridiculous medicare went up to 170.00 so how do we get a raise
    . Not only that irs took 250.00 on Dec 3 and Jan 3 Rd from my bank account because I owed 600.00 taxes from 2012. I had no food . I can’t get food stamps and I guarantee some people will loose theirs cause of the raise. All about the people who have all they need playing battleship with our lives. Sad

  14. Luisa I Gandiaga

    January 9, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    They increase 5.9 but they increase to high the deduction of medicare to $170.00. I was not expecting such a higher deduction????
    Im still working and paying social security myself and my employeer and they havent increased my monthy social security. Years 2019,2020 and 2021. And still working????

  15. V. Schmitt

    January 9, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    All these folks are really reading my mind! I’m so sick of the gov’mnt not paying up! I worked most my life at menial jobs but I still deserve more than I am getting according to information mailed to me. So so tired of being treated like a second class citizen of these United States!

  16. LetsgoBrandon

    January 10, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Like most fake news reporting, you didn’t give all the truth. And the COLA was not “sizeable”. Cost of Medicare went up, rent went up, food, gas, etc way up. So don’t think we are getting anything that will make a difference.
    Let’s go Brandon

  17. Debi Seiveno

    January 10, 2022 at 9:13 am

    This is the biggest joke played on the senior citizens. Last year I finally was able to rebuild up my SSI check. I lost 250.00 the first year Obama was in office. I had a check for $1000.00 each month. Then the next January my checks were only $750.00. January 2021 my checks were finally up to $950.00 after the deductions. In October I saw we’d be receiving a 5.9 cost of living. I told my husband., you watch they will do something. Well they sure did. I’m now only receiving $850 after deductions. Looks like I’ll be getting a 5.9 taken away. What a joke.

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