The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) usually means an increase in the benefit amount people receive each month. By law, the monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit rate increases when there is a rise in the cost of living. The government measures changes in the cost of living through the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).
The CPI-W rose this year. When inflation increases, your cost of living also goes up. Prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive. Since the CPI-W did rise, the law increases benefits to help offset inflation. As a result, monthly Social Security and SSI benefits for over 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017.
Other changes that would normally take effect based on changes in the national average wage index will begin in January 2017. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $127,200.
Information about Medicare changes for 2017, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.