Ask Larry

Cost Of Living Increases

Does Receipt Of A COLA Increase Depend On The Month You Start Benefits?

I'll be 66 and receive social security on January of 2018. Say the cola increase declared in oct of 2017 going into effect january of 2018 is 2%. would I receive the 2% increase if I start my checks in January of 2018, or do I have to apply and start my social checks coming in say December 2017 to receive the raise. I was told the cola raise would have been for 2017 and if you weren't receiving in 2017 this would not increase your payment if you start in 2018. This would then be a no brainer. An extra check and a raise compared to a small loss for going a month early.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 07:00

How Are Cost Of Living Increases Applied?

How do you apply the rise in Social Security to your current benefit amount. I would think that you take the benefit amount from this year, multiply it by the COLA (.3%) and that gives you your increase amount. But it doesn't work that way. The amount is always different. Are they rounding something? What has happened is that they round the COLA which is .34793 to .3 which lowers the amount by $.50 ($5.25 vs $4.75) . Then when they calculate the increase it is $.10 or $.65 less then calculate. So my benefit amount is $1.15 less then you might think.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 08:15
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