0.3 Percent SS Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017

The Social Security Administration announced there will be a 0.3 Percent SS Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017. There are more than 60 million persons receiving Social Security payments in one form or another: retirement, disability, SSI, etc. All recipients will be impacted by this decision to give a Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017 in the amount of 0.3%.

History of the Cost of Living Adjustment.

The purpose of the yearly adjustment is to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not eroded by inflation.

How does Social Security calculate the Cost of Living Adjustment?

It is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year a COLA was determined to the third quarter of the current year. If there is no increase, there can be no COLA. [1]

Automatic COLA adjustments began in 1975, and the only years in which there has been no COLA are 2010, 2011, and 2016. The Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017 is extremely low. Other than the years were no Cost of Living Adjustment adjustment was granted, there has never been a fraction of a percentage extended. The next lowest Cost of Living Adjustment was 1.3%, which occured in 1999 and 1987. Even that was a full percentage point higher than the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017.

Interestingly, the Social Security Trust Fund took in 855 Billion dollars in 2014. Of that 855 Billion, only 96.2% was paid out to beneficiaries and to cover administrative expenses.[2] That means that the Social Security Taxes collected over what was paid resulted in a net surplus of 3.8%.

Our firm has been practicing Social Security Disability Law since 1994. If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, it is crucial you appeal the Social Security disability denial within 60 days. As a Tampa Social Security Law Firm, we will do everything in our power to keep you from losing out on disability benefits you deserve. Our Tampa Disability Lawyers are available for free consultations.

[1] http://www.ssa.gov/news/cola/

[2] http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2014/fast_facts14.pdf