Social Security Tips for October 2017

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017.  (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits)  The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200.  Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit

See the 2018 Fact Sheet for all of the Social Security Changes:




Here’s a Q&A for the month:


Question: If our client claims spousal at age 62 (and her husband were to pass) does she get her husband’s benefit of $2400 or is it reduced based on her claiming early?


Answer: The widow is eligible for 100% of what the deceased was receiving at the time of his death unless the widow files earlier than her full retirement age, then it is reduced. The fact that she filed for spousal at 62 has no effect on her widow’s benefit amount.




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