With the New Year Comes New Changes

3 elderly menMonthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will see a slight increase in 2017.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $127,200 from $118,500. Of the estimated 173 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2017, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Thresholds for benefits will change slightly next year including the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), SSI Federal Payment Standard, and SSI Student Exclusion.

Information about Medicare changes for 2017 are available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

The Social Security Act provides for how the Cost of Living Adjustment is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Learn more about the resulting changes at our factsheet on the subject: www.socialsecurity.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2017.pdf.

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173 thoughts on “With the New Year Comes New Changes

  1. Before you post that SSA has determined an unfair COLA amount, keep in mind that Congress not only determines the formula, but delegates the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect the data upon which the formula is applied. To complain effectively, one should direct complaints to your elected federal officials in the House and/or the Senate. The folks you elected to office are the only ones who can change the formula or the designated data that is collected. However, keep in mind there has been periodic debate in Congress to switch to another formula that more often than not would play out even more unfavorably. Be careful what you wish for!

    • It is unfare on the the part of State of New Jersey to stop the COLA as the Retirees & Pensioniors benefit since the year 2011 which NJ State Govt. is supposed to pay to the eligible pensioners & Retirees . This needs to be reinstated as soon as possible.

  2. Will we see an increase in SS this year.Its been awhile since we had a cost of living increase,and Medicare continues to go up?

    • Thank you, Jack Colando, that little nugget of information was conveniently withheld by SSA. What else can we expect to be surprised by?
      Typical governmental bureaucracy!
      Why can’t we just have the complete TRUTH?J

      • they have never been trained to simplify their words. That’s a skill that not even insurance companies have a hard time mastering even though Federal Law demands that they do. Unfortunately, Congress exempted its own from simplifying their words. Now you know why most of those serving in Congress are life time employees – they no longer have the ability to get real jobs.

      • Wiselady : what impact do unions have, which are for working class government employees (ie. @ 30K/Year), have to do with Congress passing the laws governing the COLA ?

        Do you think they are stealing your COLA ? That’s insane and uneducated.

      • you people ask for the slap. Did any of you depend an explication to HILLARY CLINTON OR DONALD TRUMP WHEN THEY WERE CAMPAIGN? NO. LISTEN TO THE TUBE ALL DAYS. DID THE TUBE EVER DISCUSS IT? NO, SO

    • The cost of living adjustment never even covers the increases in Medicare, much less the real cost of living. We are continuing to go backward!

  3. I’ve seen food prices triple during a year where we received no COLA. It’s getting especially hard to find meat at a decent price.

    • Actually, according to law, the medicare premium is NOT increased more than the SS benefit. So you may see no increase because of Medicare, but you won’t receive less

      • You’re right, should there be an increase in the Medicare Part B premium, the law contains a “hold harmless” provision that protects approximately 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries from paying a higher Part B premium, in order to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit. In addition, beneficiaries who have their Medicare Part B premiums paid by state medical assistance programs will see no change in their Social Security benefit. The state will be required to pay any Medicare Part B premium increase.

        • This does not include Medicare Part D increases. If you want the same drug coverage as last year, you will have to pay an increase in Medicare D premiums that exceed the SS COLA.

          • Hi! Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Most people do not have to pay for Part A. Individuals are eligible for Medicare Part A based on their work records or on their spouse’s work records. Part B is medical insurance. Most people pay monthly for Part B. For general information about Medicare go to http://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/medicare.htm. For information on Medicare Premiums for Part A & Part B click here.

          • Lucky you!! I got a $3 raise and the cost of my Medicare Monthly payment went up $10. I’m now gonna be $7 deeper in debt each month.
            All the Government needs to do is make everybody pay their fair share & we wouldn’t be having these problems.

        • Agreed!! Hillary wanted to bring in up to a half a million refugees…when we have our greatest generation starving?? What the hell???? My question to her was, who is going to support these people?? If you can’t take care of your own…you have no business bringing in more mouths to feed!!

      • Erasure of Medicare with new appointees. We are going to need everyone here and more to let representatives know we will not starve and die to please cost cutters..

  4. The United States has been in a very low inflation cycle for several years, the “basket” that makes up the formula for COLA gasoline, food, and consumer durables, all of which have stagnated in pricing. Medicare rates go up based only on medical and drug costs.

    • WELL DID YOU KNOW THAT BIG PHARMA WANTS YOU KEEP ON BUYING THEIR DRUGS THAT DON’T EVEN WORK FOR YOU. ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR THE TRUTH OR BUY A COPY OF “MIRACLES FROM THE VAULT” BY JENNY THOMPSON. TRUTH BE TOLD.

    • Please protect our hard won Social Security and Medicare social benefits. We all sleep easier knowing we elders are cared for, not thrown out in the cold to starves, as in the 1930’s. There is a reason for Social Security. We must protect the program, despite the new billionaire class that has inherited this government, temporarily.

    • Excuse me, I retired last December, and I am now currently paying $100/month for a drug that I previously only paid $3/month under my employee insurance! That seems to be a little more than the $3/$1K that we are receiving. SMH

      • I hear you, BGP! I had to change from UH Plan 3 (HMO) and my dr visits went to $5 for pcp and $20 for specialists. That was good until I learned my prescriptions went from $1.20 a month to $95.00 per month or $145.00 per month!!!! I really got screwed until I worked with all my dr.’s found alternatives at $8.00 per month!!!! BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

    • James, gas has gone down considerable, but is now on the rise. Food prices and consumer durables however, have gone sky high. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has seen a big difference in my buying power.

  5. Give me the Trump Train. Maybe he will feel sorry for all us old-timers. What an increase!!! Won’t even buy a kid a pack of sweets. Congress continually spits in our faces while they enjoy the harvest. Who cares any more? I’ll live til I die. Just might not be all that pleasant.

    • Trump train? The Republicans have been in charge of the house and senate…now you have Trump and Ryan who want to cut everything and go to Vouchers. Start flooding your representatives by sending letters, phone calls and social media posts to remind them they work for us, not the other way around.

      • If they do anything to Social Security and medicare, there will be a revolution they can’t control and then the people will go to the streets in Washington looking for the Congress that did them in. There is already a Revolution going on in the pentagon. Something big is about to happen.

        • Yep, and the militarized police and the death of the 1st Amendment courtesy of Mr. Trump will get all those protesters arrested, sprayed with a terrible cannons, shot with rubber bullets, sprayed with tear gas, and injured by concussion grenades, just like the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock. Welcome to your nightmare, Trumpanzees.

      • Agree. Trolls counter this truth, even here. (see below.) Nasty nay-sayers are sadistic, and the point is to destroy the social safety net. For less taxes, for the already comfortable.

      • I have contacted my Democratic U.S. Senator about this and expressed my concerns. We all need to flood the House and Senate with calls and letters. It is the haves vs. have-nots.

        • One of the smartest and most logical steps-to-be-taken to rebuild SS and our country to the forum yet!! I totally agree with you, PattiI

  6. The saddest part of SS that I can think of is when someone dies their whole monthly check has to be returned by the survivor even though the checks are held back when the person first becomes eligible. It’s the survivor I feel for since they are already going thru enough at that time. Shame on us!

    • Yes it happen to me when my husband died June 19th. Got July and August payments and it took them till late September to take it out of my checking account. One good thing when I wemt to our local SS office, they sign me up for survivors and I got to retire..

      • Your July check was for June (the month your husband sadly passed away) and the August check was for July, hence the return of benefits.

      • Hi Sandy. Please keep in mind that in some instances, the financial institution will automatically return payments upon notification of the beneficiary’s death, but you are right, Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in July, you must return the benefit paid in August.

    • And, based on an income I received back in ’97! I’m scrounging around for $$ now that my last dependant turned 18, and, although he is disabled and should apply for benefits under my ex’s income, he’s stuck under mine!

  7. social security still does not take into account the medicare parts B and D that come out of our checks and thus any small increase gets eaten up by medicare taking money out for parts B and D. We paid into Medicare all the years we worked and it is outrageous that now when we collect, more money is taken out of our checks and then we have to pay taxes on the money S.S. gives us every month.
    It is disgusting what our government does to us seniors who are living on a fixed income because we don’t work any longer. Such a disgrace to this country and it should be fixed.

    • Part B is accounted for and your check can not be reduced due to a part B increase. ( Hold Harmless provision on ssa.gov ) Part D , however, is a choice. Plus you may qualify for subsidized help if you are in dire straights.
      I wish the private sector had a Hold Harmless provision when I worked, many a years passed that my health insurance increased far beyond any raise I was due. Guess a lot of people on here were either really lucky, or just blind to what they were earning when working

      • Hold harmless is a joke. My cola was translated over to the exact amount of my medicare partB increase….so bottom line I got no increase.

        • Mine too. Increase was the exact amount of the raise. A whopping $5.00.
          They should be ashamed to even have given a lousy .3 per cent.

    • Stop voting for Republicans, duh. They have controlled Congress for 16 years, duh. Congress decides whether you get a COLA, it’s your vote that decides.

  8. I find it interesting that the SS benefit will increase by .3% next year but the SS taxable maximum will increase 7.34% ($118,500 to $127,200). Obviously different indices are being used to calculate appropriate changes in these amounts.

    Why should there be a difference?

    • The taxable maximum is on people’s income who are still paying in to SS. It should and will have to be increased a whole lot more than that and will have to be. to keep the program afloat for many more years to come. To millionaires, that $127,200 max cutoff is chicken feed. Still, the program is solvent for many more years. It is a most efficient and well run program. People should do some research before they start bitcxxxx about it.

      • Fair is Fair. To say that because someone is “rich” they should pay a disproportionate share is not “fair”. $127,200 does not make someone a millionaire, especially in the north east. Its not chicken feed to them.
        By the way, I am 66 and currently receiving benefits. So…my “bitcxxxx” is about an inconsistency in how programs are inconsistently administered. If the government wants the system to be solvent long term it should make fundamental changes (for example, raising the retirement age) rather than nickel and dimeing those still working.

      • There should be NO CAP! People want more benefits and solvency for the program, then go to your congressman and senators and DEMAND the NO CAP !

  9. THE PEOPLE Whom have been working in this country the hole life get less money for social security than the one who arrived on a life boat or cross the border and said heló here I’m or those mothers with 4,5,6 kid WITHOUT FATHER 35 millions on WELFARE

  10. Our Representatives and Senators enjoy increases more than .03 percent. Why can’t they live by the same rules the rest of us do?

      • Do you really think anyone cares about whether you are a liberal or conservative. I don’t think that’s the point of this discussion. The election is over so maybe you should move on.

    • The mass media on TV and radio is responsible for many people’s opinions which leads to incumbents getting back in. Shame on the media moguls and advertisers who don’t care about truth!

  11. They probably trying to kill us all with massive heart attack’s, so they won’t have to pay us any more SS.
    The older we are, the less value as human,s. Let’s see what will happen when our new president step’s-up! Let’s see if America will be great again! Mr. President please don’t forget us!

  12. THIS IS THE WORST OF THE WORST. NO COLA INCREASE THIS YEAR AND 0.3 FOR 2017. I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU PEOPLE GET YOUR INFORMATION. YOU PEOPLE GO OUT AND SHOP JUST LIKE WE DO. YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING OUT THERE, PRICES ARE GOING THROUGH THE ROOF. YOUR NEIGHBOR MEDICARE COSTS ARE INCREASING AND THOSE OF US THAT HAVE SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE COST ARE ALSO INCREASING. HOW COME ALL THESE INCREASES AND YET YOU PEOPLE IGNORE IT AND SAY. ” NO INCREASE THIS YEAR BOYS AND GIRLS”. HELL I HAVE ALREADY CUT BACK ON MY MEDICATIONS BECAUSE I AM IN “THE DOUGHNUT HOLE” AND CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY THEIR PRICES. YES THIS IS THE WORST OF THE WORST.

  13. What president borrowed our S.S. money as a loan and then used it to spend on anything that came to mind ?
    I thought that the S.S. money was not to be used except for what it was collected for.
    Why can’t congress pass a law that would have those branches of government each pay something until some of that borrowed money comes back to the S.S. account ?
    I know it will never happen, but someone has to put these law makers in their place !

    • Borrowing from the “S. Security Trust Fund” started happening almost as early as the program got going! It’s not REALLY a trust fund, it’s not REALLY set-aside money. It’s a shell game the govt plays, and you can blame the bureaucratic machine that looks out for itself as well as Congress and Presidents.

    • Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Investing in (i.e., purchasing of) bonds (including these special issue securities) is always a loan to the party that floats the bond – in this case, the U.S. Treasury. In 2014, the Trust Fund asset reserves earned $98 billion in interest at an effective annual rate of 3.6 percent through investment in these special issue U.S. Government securities. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

    • Losers are those on welfare that depend on us the tax payers to eat and have a roof over their heads. Those are the ones you should be calling losers and not us that paid to have social security during our working years.

      • no, everyone on welfare are not losers,some are. people that need help, should get help. if i wasnt on s.s. i could use some help.what am i saying, im on s.s. and i need help!

      • You only payo1% of your tax dollars to welfare. You call these people losers ? You created a lot of these so called losers when people push their beliefs on other people. The majority of welfare recipients are women with children, where do you think women go for support after being told they can’t or should not have an abortion ?

    • Many self-employed entrepreneurs worked so hard to keep their little businesses afloat and couldn’t contribute much of anything to their own IRAs or life insurance, so please don’t label them losers. They are the salt of the earth and are the hard workers that make America as good as it is.

    • wow…Sammy! What could cause you to say that? SS is for those who work to retirement putting into a retirement plan to take them to their golden years. How can you call them losers?! SS was an investment for them to retire on….you are hard core to make such a blanketed statement that really is b.s. Susanne

  14. Can I earn up to $15,600 as a 1099 employee while collecting my soc sec benefits I opted for in Jan of 2016 at the age of 64 without being taxed extra money combined with my job income of $300 a week part time.? Will I pay taxes on my soc sec benefit of my income?

    Thanks

  15. PLEASE COMPLAIN TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE SENATE AND CONGRESS, THEY MAKE THE RULES/LAWS. REMEMBER THAT SOCIAL SECURITY IS A GOVERNMENT GIFT AND NOT A ENTITLEMENT.

    • We paid into social security every time we got paid, so it’s not a gift since it’s the money we had to pay, so we could live with money coming in during our Golden Years.

      • How can you call SS a gift and not an entitlement? That is so wrong on so many levels. It’s a retirement program that we all pay into every paycheck ( my first payment was made in 1972!) to ensure a safety net at retirement age. I am not begging for help, but requesting a return on the investment I made over the last 40-45 years of working!
        Susanne

    • Not a government “gift”. Not an “entitlement”. It is a govt. insurance program that went off the track. Don’t think that private insurers would have done much better either– they pay their CEO’s and higher ups HUGE salaries at the expense of annuitants and customers.

  16. Let Trump build a wall for All S.S. receipients; no food taxes, free medications, doctors that truly care,designate 3 climate desirable states for us; and most of all no intrusion of non- citizens under the age of 60. This is a free country yet we people of age don’t need the drama of misunderstood lifestyles ( Robberies, the if, rape, murder, con, scams, & downright disrespect of us in our twilight years…. Grandkids are an exception unless they are BEGGInG….Truth B Told%\€)😰~{¤§ฯΩ}

  17. The problem is that we all complain and do nothing about it!. Lets stop all the talk and do something,
    Call your gov. NOW
    Or vote them OUT ! and STOP being a paper tiger.
    I have tried but I am alone.

  18. California wants to secede from the Union, so who is trying to stop them. That means they will have their own welfare and social security, so they better think twice before they vote to secede.

  19. I feel that when ever the representatives vote in a raise for them selves that same raise should be passed on to all on SSI SSD. I have worn off all the letters on my keyboard writing letters and emails to our gov on one thing and another. and they still do not listen.

    • Hello Dolores. If you attain your full retirement age (66) in 2017, the limit on your earnings is $44,880 but we only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age. If you continue to work and are full retirement age or older, the amount you make at work will not affect your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working and read our publication “How Work Affects Your Benefits” for more information. Click here for Medicaid information. Thanks!

  20. Why SSA does not change the way the calculate COLA so we can receive more money every year, sometimes we do not receive any increase or just a little increase! that it is not fair at all! we should all write all the senators or representatives so they could do the changes we deserve!

  21. And this is under the republican congress, which makes laws, not the president. Since most of the comments are for more COLA, write, call,text your senators & representatives.

  22. The Cola Amount that we are getting, is .003%..not .03%..On my scales my additional income per month will be $5.68 per month or $68.16 per year. I don’t believe that our Government cares about how we’re going to get thru Rising prices Nationwide with $68.16 per year. I’m very sorrowed by this increase as at $5.68 per month will not pay for my monthly expense for taking care of my cat. There is something wrong here and I believe that what we’re getting is a ” Slap in the Face.” May us Baby Bommer’s should get Legal Representation and pay them 10% of what they are able to do to increase our $$$ Benefits. I would say that we need to do a Protest at the Whitehouse, however we have always failed in getting more money when we did this. I believe that “No Taxation without Representation” may fall into our Baby Boomer Generation….

  23. I am extremely worried about what is going to happen to our S.S. and Medicare benefits when Trump takes office! He has already admitted that he lied about his plans to keep S.S. and Medicare safe for all of us because he knew he had to in order to get the votes he needed! Everything that came out of his mouth was a lie and it will continue because that’s what he is, always has been, and always will be! What’s going to happen to all of us who have already been receiving benefits? Are we going to lose those benefits now? How will we make it? Are we going to end up living on the street with no healthcare? Maybe that’s their plan for population control!! They will shovel us up, throw our bodies into trash trucks, and get rid of us in a massive incinerator!! But really, I am scared and have heard nothing about how they plan to deal with those of us currently receiving benefits. If anyone has any answers, please post them here.

    • I know the answer, and it’s retry grim. Go to the actual government website, find the bills introduced by Senator Price (Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Rep Ryan for the end of Medicare and Medicaid among others, and then prepare your funeral plan.

  24. I would like congress to consider doing away with the CAP of $127,000. People who make an income more than this should continue to pay into SS until they retire.

  25. I like so many other retirees are very disappointed about this so called increase. There are many seniors who rely on this and to give a pitiful .03% is a slap in the face to all seniors. Congress should be ashamed of themselves. Do those folks still give themselves a cost of living raise? I would like to know.

  26. While I will not complain, because I do use Medicare, It is a shame too tell everyone they are getting a raise in SS. I got absolutely nothing, 100% went too fund Medicare. It would have saved the government money by not sending a letter to tell me so. That money could have went too fund some one who never paid in too Social Security.

  27. When is $3.00 a month considered a reasonable increase? Because of that $3.00 increase in monthly Disability, food stamps was decreased to $14.00, leaving a total of $134.00 to eat with a month. In Arizona, I’m listed as extreme poverty level. What happened to being equal living costs? It doesn’t exist.

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