Posted on Nov 7, 2017

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase just 2.0% in 2018, the federal government recently announced.

The 2.0% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017.

The purpose of the COLA, the Social Security Administration explained, is to ensure that the purchasing power of benefits is not eroded by inflation. The COLA is based on inflation changes as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits in 2018

Type of Benefit
or Family
Before
2.0% COLA
After
2.0% COLA
Increase
Benefit Type All retired workers $1,377 $1,404 $27
All disabled workers $1,173 $1,197 $24
Family Type Disabled worker, spouse and one or more children $2,011 $2,051 $40
Aged couple, both receiving benefits
$2,294 $2,340 $46
Aged widow or widow(er) alone $1,310 $1,336 $26
Widowed mother and 2 children $2,717 $2,771 $54
— Source: Social Security Administration

 

Through the Years: Social Security Cost-Of-Living Adjustments
Year COLA Year COLA Year COLA Year COLA
1975 8.0 1986 1.3 1997 2.1 2008 5.8
1976 6.4 1987 4.2 1998 1.3 2009 0.0
1977 5.9 1988 4.0 1999* 2.5 2010 0.0
1978 6.5 1989 4.7 2000 3.5 2011 3.6
1979 9.9 1990 5.4 2001 2.6 2012 1.7
1980 14.3 1991 3.7 2002 1.4 2013 1.5
1981 11.2 1992 3.0 2003 2.1 2014 1.7
1982 7.4 1993 3.6 2004 2.7 2015 0.0
1983 3.5 1994 2.8 2005 4.1 2016 0.3
1984 3.5 1995 2.6 2006 3.3 2017 0.3
1985 3.1 1996 2.9 2007 2.3 <align=center>2018</align=center> <align=center>2.0</align=center>
*The COLA for December 1999 was originally determined as 2.4% based on CPIs published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pursuant to Public Law 106-554, however, this COLA is effectively now 2.5%.