The average Social Security recipient will receive a roughly $25 boost in their monthly check in 2018, per a modest increase announced by the Social Security Administration on Friday. This change will affect over 66 million Americans who rely on monthly Social Security payments.
The overall 2 percent increase in Social Security is the largest increase since 2011, when the benefit was bumped 3.6 percent, but it still falls below the percentage predicted by officials earlier this summer.
In 1975, Congress enacted legislation mandating a yearly adjustment of Social Security based on a cost of living analysis. Sometimes that adjustment, known as COLA, is close to zero. Over the last eight years, the cost of living adjustment has averaged 1 percent.
COLA is based on Consumer Price Index changes for things like rent, clothes, food, and medical costs. Overall, consumer prices increased slightly this year, but Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused gasoline prices to sharply increase after wreaking havoc on the Gulf region, said Max Gulker, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, in an interview with ABC News.
Social Security affects a large portion of Americans. Payments are made to senior citizens over 65, the disabled, and orphans. Some advocates for senior citizens argue that this year's 2 percent increase does not match rising medical costs for most seniors.