Aug 15, 2017

1.7% COLA?

     There's always great interest in Social Security's annual cost of living adjustment. We won't know the actual 2018 number until October but it's looking like it will be about 1.7%.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

once again, the "fixed income" crowd gets a larger raise than govt workers.

Anonymous said...

Once again if the government workers don't like it, try and get the same wage for your "skills" in the public sector.

Anonymous said...

Looking at COLA history for federal and social security payments and federal employee pay, it looks that the government employee gets a far larger increase than the federal or SSA retiree.

Add the additional percentage increase for federal employee locality pay, and the percent increase grows. There is no locality retirement adjustment for CSRS/FERS or SSA.

COLA History - percent increase
** Note: Federal EE pay COLA does not include
additional Locality Pay increases

Year CSRS/FERS SSA Fed EE pay
2017 0.3 0.3 1
2016 0 0.3 1
2015 1.7 0 1
2014 1.5 1.7 1

Jeff Garrison said...

How do i go about raising the cost of living in my state for ssi cause last year we lost $1 in sssi and 2 in food stamps i maid $3 un ssd so no real raise for me

Anonymous said...

I thought it was going to be 2.2 but at least it's something.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, COLA is connected to the wrong consumer index. People on these benefits cannot simply replace the things they need with other services. Its not like buying apples when they are in season and cheaper than pineapples. Rent, medication, medical treatment, rent, utilities and food prices continue to go up. I don't expect a change to a better index, but I do expect a cost saving measure to a connect COLA to an even more punitive index.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Garrison: It depends on your state.

Out here in California, it is about $982 per month (if do not have cooking facilities). Cali is fairly SSI friendly (if you can get on SSI).

Overall, the max is $735 per month. It increased 0.3 percent in January 2017. You can look at the SSA site. https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/SSI.html

How do you go about raising the COLA in your state?

Put pressure on your state legislators. It comes down to how sympathetic the state (or voting taxpayers) are to disabled people. Or it comes down to how poor the state has become. The less money they have in their coffers the less they will go above the max of $735 per month.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how we reps feel. It's been many years since we've had any cost of living increase in our fee agreement caps, and there is no hope in sight for any adjustment. True, that rarely any cases reach the cap lately, but that once a year case that does shouldn't be caped at limits that were based upon the cost of living that existed 10 years ago.

Anonymous said...

That is correct 4:19, reps have not have a COLA increase, yet overhead (employees,rent) expenses increase every year.

Anonymous said...

The other question is what Medicare Part B premiums will be. Because of the low COLA last year and no COLA the year before, increases in Medicare premiums were limited for most people. With the higher COLA, they probably won't be limited this year (or not much), so it's possible that Medicare premiums will eat up most of the COLA.

Anonymous said...

4:19... Everyone is complaining about the 2+ year wait for hearings decisions, so how is it you aren't meeting the cap? Most Dib payments are above $1000 a month so with $24000. Could it be that you are taking initial claims cases that require VERY little work on your part?

Anonymous said...

If the reps don't like it, practice in another area, it really is quite simple.

Anonymous said...

President Trumps budget proposal sets forth a 1.9% increase for Federal employees.

Anonymous said...

As a federal employee, I have a real hard time feeling sorry for myself when the disability/retirement crowd gets a 1.7% increase and we don't. They don't get step increases. They're fixed. The average benefit paid out is below the amount for a GS 1-1. The maximum for a retiree that retires this year is between a GS 5-4 and a 5-5. And if you want to say that you're working for it and they're not, they already worked for it. That was the deal. Feel free to try and get by on $1300 per month and see how far it gets you, even with a 1.7% increase.

Anonymous said...

Straight ssi cases, hit with a 1/3 reduction for in-kind support, you need 48 months of past due to reach 6,000 fee. Even with a 2 year wait, you still aren't going to go 48 months from application date.

Anonymous said...

I retired from practicing SSDi/SSI representation in 2016, but this idea held by SSA employees that every rep gets the cap for each case is ridiculous. As the ODARs where I practicee filled with "deniers," the win percentages decreased by at least 20%. Even the ALJs who would grant benefits began to cut the onset dates so no claimant received much more than 1 year of benefits after the waiting period. In the last year of practice, my fee reached the cap only 2 or 3 times.

Apparently, many of the commentators to this blog live in urbanized areas with high wages. Since SSDI benefits received depend upon the amounts paid in, the benefits in the semirural/light industrial area were low because of wages that often were only a dollar or two above minimum wage. The mean benefit for my clients was about $800.

And, let's not forget the miserly local DO could always find excuses to cut SSI by 1/3 or more.