PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) - If you receive Social Security benefits, you are going to get more money in 2022. The Social Security Administration announced a 5.9% increase for beneficiaries. It is the largest cost-of-living increase in almost 40 years. The average retiree will receive a bump of about $92 per month.
Dana Marie Kennedy, the AARP director in Arizona, says the increase is critical for many Arizona seniors struggling with increasing costs, especially for housing. "We're seeing a lot of seniors be homeless for the very first time, so this benefit is going to help them," Kennedy told 3 On Your Side.
"What we don't know is what the Medicare Part B premium increase will be. That's due out next month," she continued. "Normally, when the Social Security benefit happens, it almost gets wiped away because of Medicare premium part B's. So, I hope that it's enough to really be able to continue to benefit the seniors that are so hard hit with all of the inflation these days."
The annual cost of living adjustment for Social Security benefits is directly tied to the Consumer Price Index. The most recent CPI report, released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows a four-tenths of a percent increase in prices in September and a 5.4% jump over the past 12 months.
"The official line for the Federal Reserve is that these inflationary pressures are transitory, which is a fancy word for temporary," Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, said. "I think even the folks at the Fed are admitting that there's a little more persistence in this run-up in inflation, and it's likely to be with us, at least the next year, maybe a bit longer than that."
The most significant increases in the September Consumer Price Index were for housing and food, while used car prices and costs associated with travel eased slightly.