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Supplemental Security Income will increase for next year


Recipients of Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income, will receive a cost-of-living increase for next year after no increase in 2016. The Social Security Administration recently announced the 0.3 percent increase for 2017, which will begin in December for recipients of Supplemental Security Income. Benefits were last adjusted in 2014.

Some parties were critical of the small size of the increase. The Social Security Income increase is based on inflation measures and the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. Adjustments can be complicated to understand for a number of reasons, including the fact that adjustments are based on calculations for the last year that benefits were increased. Historically, annual increases were closer to the current one for 2017 since the automatic inflation adjustment formula was adopted in the 1970s, but subdued inflation since the recession has prevented more substantial and annual adjustments.

In total, the adjustment will impact close to 66 million Americans receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security. Supplemental Security Income is important for many disabled individuals and families. Recipients must meet the Social Security Administration's criteria for a mental or physical disability that prevents them from working and is caused by a medical condition expected to last longer than a year or is expected to result in death. SSI provides an option for disabled individuals to receive assistance when their work history might not qualify them for Social Security disability benefits.

There are a variety of different options available through Social Security for disabled individuals and each is worth considering to determine which option is best for the situation of each individual seeking benefits. It is also important to keep up-to-date concerning benefits and eligibility to ensure disabled individuals are receiving the most help possible.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Social Security Beneficiaries Will See 0.3% Cost-of-Living Increase in 2017," Ben Leubsdorf, Oct. 18, 2016

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