The 2018 COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustments) increase is 2.0% according to the U.S. government. COLA is based on the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the third quarter of this year. The 2.0 percent increase in the cost-of-living adjustment is about a $25 monthly benefit increase for the average retiree, or about $300 per year.
Check in on the 2019 COLA increase watch.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused a lot of damage and hardship but may have also contributed to the highest increase since 2012 through higher gas prices and other increased costs due to the storms.
The 2017 COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustments) increase was 0.3%. COLA impacts benefits to about 61 million social security recipients, 1.96 million military retirees and 4 million disabled veterans and 8 million SSI beneficiaries.
Did your 2018 Medicare premiums impact your social security benefits?
2018 Cola Effective & Payment Dates:
- Retired military veterans, VA rates for compensation and pension for disabled veterans and surviving families will be effective December 1, 2017 and will be reflected on the first check to be paid on December 31, 2017.
- Social Security benefits will be effective beginning with December 2017 benefits, which are payable in January 2018.
- Federal SSI payment levels will begin on December 29, 2017.
COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustments) are for the following individuals or areas:
- Retired Military Veteran
- Disabled Veterans – See VA Disability Rate Tables
- Veterans’ Pension Benefits – Veterans Pension Rate Tables
- Survivor Benefit Annuitants – Survivors’ Pension Rate Tables
- Surviving Families of Veterans – Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Tables
- Social Security recipients
- Federal Civilian Retirees
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Eligibility for Medicare Extra Help and Medicaid
- Federal & State food and housing assistance programs
How COLA is Determined
The Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (aka Cost-of-Living Allowance) is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). It is based on the percentage increase of the CPI-W from the 3rd quarter of the previous year versus the current year’s 3rd quarter (July, August, and September).
Veterans who retire during the current calendar year will receive a temporary partial COLA due to already receiving a military pay raise in January.
- The COLA increase is only set at the CPI-W if the increase is less than 2 percent.
- If inflation is between to 2 to 3 percent than COLA is set at 2 percent.
- If the CPI-W is greater than 3 percent than COLA is set at 1 percent below the CPI-W.
|Third quarter total||705.17||719.004|
|Average (rounded to the nearest 0.001)||235.057||239.668|
|Inflation According to the CPI-W||0.3%||2.0%|
|History of COLA (cost-of-adjustments) since 1975|
|Money & Finance||COLA Increase Watch|
|VA Disability Rates||Social Security|