Social Security Benefits to Increase in 2018

October 13, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: October 13, 2017

man and woman outside smiling When we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

The CPI-W rises when prices increase, making your cost of living go up. This means prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive. The COLA helps to offset these costs. As a result, more than 66 million Americans will see a 2.0 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018.

Other changes that will happen in January 2018 are based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax will increase to $128,700. The earnings limit for workers younger than “full” retirement age will increase to $17,040 and the limit for people turning “full” retirement age in 2018 will increase to $45,360.

You can find more information about the 2018 COLA here.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Joe P.

    I am eligible to receive Social Security but have not yet applied for benefits. Recently I received my annual statement from Social Security that detailed my future benefits. Do the amounts shown on the statement reflect the 2% COLA for 2018??

    • Bobbo

      Your estimates will continue to accrue with inflation

    • Ray F.

      Hi Joe, the 2% COLA increase applies to current beneficiaries.

      • Joe P.

        Thanks Ray, but I don’t think that answered my question. Did the amounts shown on my recent annual statement include the 2% COLA. Or should I add 2% to those amounts?

        • ST S.

          There is no COLA on benefit amounts not yet being paid. Your benefits will be newly calculated whenever you begin getting them. You will not need an “increase” – which would be zero since you are now getting zero.

  2. FEC

    Then that small percentage will be taken back if you have Medicare as Medicare will then raise its monthly premiums. Yeah, such a win-win for government!

  3. Edward T.

    Is there anything I can do to stop Arizona from taking 80% of my COLA increase away from my food stamp allotment? This is cruel and unusual punishment because I wind up with less purchasing power than I had before the COLA increase. Thank you

  4. Virgil

    They give us seniors a measly 2% increase which doesn’t even cover inflation, then increase the cost of medicare, increase the cost of your supplement, increase the cost of your drug plan. after the dust settles you clear $5 to $7 more each month more than last year. then lastly they Call it a “government benefit” when the GOVERNMENT does not have a single penny invested in the fund. It was paid for by you and your employer. The government collects the interest earned on YOUR MONEY, then tells you how much they will pay you (your money). and hope you die early so they can stop the payments. the the elected official vote themselves a $3000 annual raise, get free medical, dental an vision care for the rest of their lives PLUS their full salary. if we did that to them we would be in prison.

    • Adalberto R.

      I agree 100% whit you.

  5. Torie

    I get 730 a month so how much more will I receive out of it?

  6. Anthony R.

    I am 77 and handicapped. I was receiving $181 until July 2016. I had to move and haven’t seen a penny since. All I get is letters saying that you don’t have my correct address?? Funny, but your letters come to my correct address, and the payments are “returned” ! because you say you must have a correct address???
    Somebody is paranoid and it isn’t me ! S.O.S.!

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mr. Silva. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. A quick review of your records will help us resolve the issue. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Remember that you can change your address online by using a my Social Security account. Or you can contact the nearest Social Security office in your area directly. Thanks.

  7. Marie

    I don’t know if most people are aware that a wife can take her husband’s S.S. which is usually more than hers if she worked less. S.S. is still not enough to live on! I’ll bet those in Congress have enough to live on, and we have been paying for it through our taxes. That includes their salries, perks, retirement, and great healthcare!!

    • Ray F.

      Hi Marie. To receive the maximum spouse’s benefit, you must start receiving those benefits at your full retirement age. If you are under full retirement age and qualify on your own record, we will pay that amount first. But if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse, you’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. The spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your spouse’s full retirement amount. Also, to qualify for these benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Please see our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information. Thanks!

  8. Delilah

    I am 66…my generation was raised know one had to have more than SS to survive retirement. So we looked for union jobs with retirement programs. I hope the next generation realizes SS may be there but if they can not save(most will not be able to) look for jobs in fields that have MANDATORY retirement programs. I am fortunate my husband and I were both teamsters. So at his death I received 75% of his all of mine and survivor benefits. I know those of you who did not plan can not go back…but you do have to live with the decisions you make in life. I am blessed I know but my income was due to work and planning knowing the Govt was not going to take care of me. So please encourage your children to make sure they have supplemental retirement…be it 401k, union or other retirement programs.

  9. S A.

    2 percent increase better than 0. Not in my eyes. So now, on $700 that is $14.00 ok I’ll take that THEN on the other hand how much more will be taken out of my Social Security for Medicare premiums. Maybe $15.00 or so. Sounds like a NEGATIVE to me. Not good Not good at all

    • Ray F.

      Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at

  10. Dianna C.

    It’s been 3 years since I’VE seen a raise – they say there was a raise in 2015, but my check has not changed since 2014!! Cost of living HAS gone up! For the past 2 years – I’m no longer able to afford even hamburger more than once a month – almost $4/lb here! My shopping list for the MONTH has been (for well over 2 years now), I buy 1 lb hamburger, 1 lb bacon, one or 2 chicken breasts, 1 or 2 pork chops – and THAT is my protein for the MONTH! A chicken breast is cut up and used in 2 or 3 stir fries and a batch of chicken and NOODLES; pork chops are chopped up and added to fried rice. I can’t tell you the last time I ate a WHOLE what ever when it comes to MEAT! Make a pot of beans – use 2 strips of bacon to season. Make a pot of potato soup – 2 more strips of bacon, etc. You get my drift! And those IDIOTS try to tell me the COST OF LIVING hasn’t’ gone up!?!?!?!?! I’m disabled, trying to keep my weight under control – but it’s HARD when all you can afford to buy is potatoes, rice, noodles, macaroni – all useless CARBS and no PROTEIN.

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