Social Security recipients will receive a modest increase in their benefits next year after getting no cost-of-living adjustments in 2016.
Benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017, the Social Security Administration announced last month.
The cost-of-living adjustment will begin with benefits payable to Social Security beneficiaries in January.
Increased payments to more than 8 million Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 30.
Social Security benefits increased by 1.7 percent in 2015, 1.5 percent in 2014 and 1.7 percent in 2013.
Benton County residents are receiving some of the highest annual Social Security payments in the state already, according to a recent study by SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company.
Benton County is ranked No. 6 and Franklin County is No. 25 among the state’s 39 counties.
Benton County averages $19,125 in annual Social Security payments with an annual cost of living of $18,144, according to the SmartAsset study.
That’s compared to Franklin County’s $17,775 for annual Social Security payments and $17,997 for the annual cost of living.
The top county in the state for highest annual Social Security payments is Klickitat County, which boasts an average of $19,660 in annual Social Security payments and an annual cost of living of $17,095, the study said.
SmartAsset also ranked the counties where Social Security payments would go the furthest. “We subtracted the county-level cost of typical living expenses from each county’s net Social Security income,” the study said.
Benton County ranked No. 12 in the state and Franklin County came in at No. 29. Klickitat County was ranked No. 1. King County came in at No. 38.
Social Security’s annual COLA increase is tied to the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.
Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $127,200 from $118,500.
Of the estimated 173 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2017, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Information about Medicare changes for 2017, when announced, will be available at Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.
Visit socialsecurity.gov to apply for benefits, open a Social Security account, find publications and get answers to frequently asked questions. Or call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY number, 1-800-325-0778).
Case-specific questions can be answered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Generally, there’s a shorter call wait time after Tuesday.
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