SS sets 2 pct. benefit increase in 2018


Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase by 2 percent in 2018.

In an announcement last Friday, the Social Security Administration said that the 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018.

Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 29, 2017.

Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the consumer price index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 from $127,200 to $128,700.

Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum. 

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

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, visit

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