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SSA Announces 2017 COLA Is 0.3%

2016 October 18
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by Steve Perrigo

Today the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2017 will be 0.3 percent. It is the lowest level of increase since COLAs began in 1975, apart from years of no increase, which included 2016.

The average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,171 from $1,167, an increase of $4 per month (or $48 per year), according to the SSA. The COLA is based on third-quarter results reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

The SSA outlines additional details in its Fact Sheet:

  • Quarter of coverage: The amount of earning needed to earn a quarter of coverage will increase to $1,300 from $1,260. Quarters of coverage are required to obtain insured status for retirement and disability benefits.
  • Substantial gainful activity (SGA): The monthly threshold for non-blind will increase to $1,170 per month from $1,130 per month, and for blind, $1,950 per month from $1,820 per month. Individuals earning over SGA are not eligible to apply for disability benefits.
  • Trial Work Period (TWP): The monthly TWP threshold will increase to $840 per month from $810 per month.

Social Security provides a chart listing COLAs since 1975.

Social Security Cost-Of-Living Adjustments
Year COLA
1975 8.0
1976 6.4
1977 5.9
1978 6.5
1979 9.9
1980 14.3
1981 11.2
1982 7.4
1983 3.5
1984 3.5
1985 3.1
1986 1.3
1987 4.2
1988 4.0
1989 4.7
Year COLA
1990 5.4
1991 3.7
1992 3.0
1993 2.6
1994 2.8
1995 2.6
1996 2.9
1997 2.1
1998 1.3
1999  a 2.5
2000 3.5
2001 2.6
2002 1.4
2003 2.1
2004 2.7
Year COLA
2005 4.1
2006 3.3
2007 2.3
2008 5.8
2009 0.0
2010 0.0
2011 3.6
2012 1.7
2013 1.5
2014 1.7
2015 0.0
2016 0.3

a
The COLA for December 1999 was originally determined as 2.4 percent based on CPIs published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pursuant to Public Law 106-554, however, this COLA is effectively now 2.5 percent.

 

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