These perks will put more money in people’s pockets no matter what Congress does.

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The legislation aims to improve the country’s social safety net by expanding several coronavirus relief programs and creating new support systems, such as universal pre-kindergarten and health coverage for some low-income adults. The measures that will allow leaving the Senate, however, remain to be seen.

As lawmakers argue, Americans are grappling with soaring inflation that is pushing up the prices of food, gasoline, cars and other items. Major supply chain disruptions aren’t helping, forcing consumers to pay more for some hard-to-find products.

But tens of millions of people will see more money in their pockets thanks to the increases in benefits and wages that occur regardless of what Congress ends up doing.

Social Security recipients will receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 5.9% next year, the biggest increase since 1982.

The spike will increase monthly retiree payments from $ 92 to an estimated average of $ 1,657 for 2022.

It’s the biggest adjustment today’s beneficiaries have seen, said Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League.

The roughly 70 million people who benefit from Social Security, including retirees, Americans with disabilities, and others, receive a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, each year. It is based on an increase in inflation over one year and is designed to help beneficiaries cope with rising prices.

In 2021, the adjustment was 1.3%, which translated to an increase of about $ 20 per month for retired workers.

But beneficiaries should think twice before embarking on a spending spree amid soaring inflation, as higher prices will erase some of the adjustment. Additionally, Medicare Part B premiums for 2022 are also rising sharply, further reducing their monthly Social Security checks.
The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be $ 170.10 next year, up from $ 148.50 this year.

Minimum wage

While the federal minimum wage has remained at $ 7.25 an hour since 2009, many states, cities and counties have raised their own thresholds.

Some minimum wage workers receive a raise on or around New Year’s Day each year through automatic cost-of-living adjustments based on inflation. In some other places, wages are increasing as a result of scheduled increases adopted in previous legislation.

A total of 74 states, cities and counties raised their minimum wages in 2021, according to the National Employment Law Project, which still calculates the number for 2022 but expects it to be about the same.

In Arizona, for example, the minimum hourly wage will be $ 12.80 in 2022, up from $ 12.15 this year. It only increased by 15 cents for 2021.

Colorado minimum wage workers will receive $ 12.56 next year, up from $ 12.32 now. And the minimum hourly wage in Belmont, Calif., Will drop to $ 16.20 in January, from $ 15.90 now.

“Cities, states and counties that do this on their own without waiting for the federal government are obviously helping workers,” said Yannet Lathrop, lead researcher at Bill. “There is basically no state, city, county or region in the country where workers can survive on $ 7.25.”

Additionally, the minimum wage for federal contractors will drop to $ 15 an hour in 2022, thanks to an executive order signed by President Joe Biden. It will take effect upon the signing of new contracts or upon the execution of certain contractual actions, such as extensions or renewals. It is estimated that 300,000 people will see an increase, according to Anastasia Christman, director of the Worker Power program at Bill.

Food vouchers

Food stamp recipients are already receiving more monthly assistance, which began with the new federal fiscal year in October.

The average monthly benefit rose to $ 251 per person, from $ 240 per person, even though a 15% federal increase authorized by Congress expired in late September.

The increase stems from an ongoing update to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Eating Plan, which determines the amount of benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the official name food stamps. The review was required by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Beneficiaries also received a cost of living adjustment, which is based on food price inflation and begins every October. It is $ 3 per month for the current fiscal year.

The current monthly benefit includes another improvement in coronavirus relief that Congress passed last year that is still in effect in most states. Lawmakers have increased the food stamp allowance of enrollees to the maximum amount for their family size during the pandemic. Biden extended the measure earlier this year to an additional 25 million people in very low-income households who had originally not received the additional benefits.

Without this measure from Congress, the average monthly benefit would be $ 169.

Nearly 41.7 million people were receiving food stamps in August, according to the most recent federal data.


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