Every year the Social Security Medicare Board of Trustees looks at the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, (CPI-W) and sets the Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) rate—how much Social Security Benefits will increase—for the next year. While CPI data is not yet available for the whole year, a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees offered a clue to what next year’s increases might be. Are you ready for it? They are projecting a 0.2% increase for 2017. Yes that is right: a two-tenths of one percent increase!
For the average Social Security beneficiary, that translates to an increase of about $2.69 a month, or as MotelyFool.com noted, “essentially enough to buy one gallon of gasoline, a gallon of milk, or perhaps one of the cheaper drinks at your favorite coffee shop.”
This puny COLA increase comes after no COLA increase this year, and at a time when healthcare cost inflation has hit an all time high, with medical procedure costs and prescription drug costs taking a bigger bite out of Social Security checks.
About 40.5 million Americans receive Social Security retirement benefits and about 14 million receive monthly disability benefits.