Social Security Benefits to Rise 5.9% in 2022, Most in Four Decades

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“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,” Ms. Jenkins said in a statement Wednesday.

Nancy Altman, the president of Social Security Works, an advocacy group, said that she welcomed the increase, but that it was not enough for seniors to cover the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs.

“You’re glad that you get a 5.9 percent increase, but it doesn’t feel like you’re getting 5.9 percent when all of your other costs are going up much higher,” Ms. Altman said.

Cecilia Dominguez, who is 68 and lives in Los Angeles, said the increased benefits would help her pay for her mortgage, groceries and gas expenses. The benefits make up about 75 percent of her monthly income, she said. Although she retired from her job as a procurement manager in 2009, she now works three part-time jobs to keep up with her bills.

Ms. Dominguez said she had noticed a spike in prices since the pandemic’s start. It now costs about $95 to fill up her car’s gas tank; six months ago, she said, she paid $60. (Gas there is about $4.50 a gallon, and California prices tend to be a dollar higher than the national average.) At the grocery store, meat and produce have become more expensive, she said.

“I can’t even look at a steak,” she said. “Eggs are a fortune.”

Martin Feuer, 71, a retired senior compliance professional on Long Island, said he welcomed the increased benefits, especially after years of adjustment increases hovering around 1 to 2 percent.

“Amen,” Mr. Feuer said, “5.9 percent is pretty good, actually.”

He worries, however, that his Medicare Part B monthly premium will increase, eating into his Social Security benefits.

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