Social Security Disability COLA set by the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration has set a Social Security Disability COLA and other monthly benefit recipient.  This not only includes retirees, but also SSD and SSI recipients.  Unfortunately, the COLA amount is just .3%.

The 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2017. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2016. 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.

mooney social security disability attorneyTo show you how small of an amount 03% increase is, it would raise the Social Security average benefit amount form $1355 per month to $1366 per month.

Now, do not get too excited about this very nominal COLA increase.  You will not see it anyhow.  Due to increases in Medicare premiums, any increases you may have seen in your Disability or Retirement benefits will be eaten up by those Medicare premiums increases.

Last year, Social Security recipients did not see any increases.  That is truly a shame.  The folks who need a simply COLA increase the most will gut through without any increase again, despite rising prices.

Other changes that effect Social Security Disability: Monthly Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts increases.  Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is a social security term that identifies an amount that an individual can’t make over and be eligible for Social Security Disability.    In other words, if you make under SGA you can sill be eligible for social security disability, but if you make over the monthly amount, then you are deemed to be able to perform substantial gainful activity and therefore not eligible for disability benefits.  For 2017, SGA monthly amount has been increased from $1,030 per month to $1,070 per month.

For disability and retiree recipients, SSA put together a nice fact sheet on changes for 2017.  You can view that here.


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.