31 Jan Increasing Monthly SSI Benefits in 2017
A Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is undergone each year to determine whether or not the amount of Social Security benefits a person receives each month needs to increase or stay the same. By law, the Social Security Administration is required to increase the amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits when the cost of living increases. At Klok Law Firm LLC, our SSI benefits attorneys keep up with the changing rates and laws that apply to Social Security benefits so we can better help our clients obtain the benefits that they are entitled to.
COLA Prompts Changes to SSI Rates in 2017
If you have not already, you should notice a modest bump in your monthly SSI check. Because of the slight increase in the national cost of living, Social Security and SSI benefits are expected to increase by 0.3 percent for over 65 million Americans in 2017. Though small, the increase will add up and will help to accommodate the slight adjustments in everything from toilet paper and cereal to medications and assisted living devices.
The government measures changes in the cost of living by keeping a close eye on the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). When prices for goods and services go up from their normal average, this is known as inflation. When inflation occurs, the CPI-W increases. 2016 saw an increase in the CPI-W, meaning the SSA is legally required to make adjustments that will help elderly and disabled Americans offset the cost of inflation.
You can expect to see other changes due to the hike in national price averages, as well as the increase in the national average wage index. Some of these changes are not so good. For example, the maximum amount of earnings now subject to Social Security payroll taxes has increased to $127,000. Many states provide additional funding to SSI beneficiaries, so the actual amount that you receive could be more than we’re projecting here.
History of COLA
The purpose of COLA is to ensure that SSI continues to benefit those who need it. Congress enacted the COLA provision in 1972 and automatic annual COLAs began in 1975. Prior to the enactment of COLA, Congress performed only occasional assessments of the CPI-W and made adjustments when Congress enacted special legislation. With the enactment of COLA, SSI beneficiaries are guaranteed to maintain benefits that will support them as the average price of goods increases.
Consult with a Mount Pleasant SSI Benefits Lawyer
If you have not seen an increase in your monthly benefits, or if you need help with filing for SSI, reach out to the Mount Pleasant SSI benefits attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC. Our attorneys can guide you through the application process and communicate with the SSA on your behalf to help you gain the amount of benefits that you are entitled to.
Call our office today or contact us online to schedule a confidential and free consultation.