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Social Security Benefits: A Look at the Changes for 2017

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced changes to Social Security beginning in 2017 that may impact you. If you have concerns about these changes you should contact one of the experienced Tampa Social Security lawyers at Mike Murburg, P.A. for guidance.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

Due to increases in the cost-of-living, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will receive a 0.3 percent COLA beginning in 2017. This small increase is designed to account for increases in costs incurred by beneficiaries. The increase will impact more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and more than 8 million Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries.

The COLA is calculated by the SSA after reviewing increases in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The SSA has provided the following examples of how the COLA could impact certain groups of people.

  • A retired worker currently receiving $1,355 can expect an increase beginning in 2017 to $1,360.
  • A widowed mother with two children currently receiving $2,686 can expect that amount to increase to $2,695 in 2017.
  • If a disabled worker is currently receiving $1,167 that person can expect an increase to $1,171 beginning in 2017.

Beneficiaries are not required to take any steps to recognize this increase: the COLA will occur automatically. However, if you have questions about your benefits you should contact us so we can help you better understand what you are receiving and work to ensure you receive all benefits that you are entitled to.

Increase in Earnings Subject to Social Security Tax

The slight COLA will be paid, in part, through an increase in the earning subject to Social Security tax. These adjustments are made in an effort to increase the funds that are available to Social Security or Supplemental Security Income recipients.

Average wages have increased slightly which means that beginning in 2017, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase. Currently, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax is $118,500, but this will increase to $127,200 beginning in 2017.

Changes to Medicare

You should be aware that changes to Medicare will also be taking place at the beginning of 2017. When the changes are announced, they will be posted at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. Contact us today if you have any questions about these upcoming changes and how they will impact you and your family.

Mike Murburg, P.A. Can Help

Making a Social Security or Supplemental Security Income claim can be complicated and often times claims are inappropriately denied or recipients do not receive all benefits that they are entitled to. This is why it is so important to have a dedicated attorney working with you through the entire process.

The Tampa Social Security lawyers at Mike Murburg, P.A. have the experience to help properly manage the SSA when make a Social Security or Supplemental Security Income claim. Our initial consultation and case evaluations are always free and no fees or costs are due upfront if you decide to retain us.