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SSA Announces 2018 COLA Is 2.0%

2017 October 13
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by Steve Perrigo

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2018 will be 2.0 percent. This is the highest level of increase since 2011, when the COLA was 3.6 percent.

The average SSDI benefit will rise to $1,197 from $1,173, an increase of $24 per month (or $288 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 earnings needed to earn a quarter of coverage will increase to $1,320 from $1,300. 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 $1,180 per month from $1,170 per month, and for blind, $1,970 per month from $1,950 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 $850 per month from $840 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
2017 2.0
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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