Changes to your Social Security Benefits in 2017

In 2017, Social Security Disability (SSD), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Retirement recipients will see a slight increase in their monthly payments.

Since there was an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2016, Social Security payments will be increased. This is also known as a Cost of Living Adjustment or a COLA. Beneficiaries of these benefits will receive a 0.3% COLA in 2017.

The reason for a COLA, is to make sure the recipients of these benefits are not affected by inflation.  The Social Security Administration determines the COLA by using the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  If there is no increase there will not be a COLA that year.

For individuals who are applying for SSD or SSI, there is also another number that has changed in your favor.  If you plan to work while applying for these benefits you may come across the word Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).  This is when someone is working, while applying for these benefits, Social Security sets a limit on not how much you can work, but on how much you can earn. In 2016, the monthly gross amount an individual could make was $1,130.00.  In 2017, the amount will go up to $1,170.00 gross per month.

Although a COLA means recipient’s monthly payments will increase, it also means the cost of living has also increased.  This means prices for goods and services have increased enough to affect change in the cost of living. Since the COLA is a minor percentage, that means we should not see much of an increase in our everyday costs of goods and services which is good news for everyone.

If you have applied for SSD or SSI benefits or are considering applying and have questions, contact the attorneys at Berger and Green today for a free no obligation consultation.

Source:
Social Security Administration, “2017 Social Security Changes”