Here's How Much Social Security Checks Could Increase in 2018
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused a lot of hardship, but there may be a silver lining for seniors: The storms could end up giving retirees a few extra dollars in their Social Security checks next year.
Harvey shut down major refineries in the Gulf Coast to force up the price of gasoline. And auto prices rose as many people sought to replace cars and trucks damaged by flooding in Texas and Florida.
By triggering higher inflation in August and September, the storms may have boosted the expected increase in benefits in 2018 by the most in six years. The annual COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, could be as much as 2% versus the 1.6% to 1.8% increase that seemed likely a few months ago.
How much is that? In 2017, the average beneficiary received $1,360 a month. A 2% increase would amount to $26.40 a month. Or $326 for the full year. Might not sound like much, but it’s a lot more than the nation’s 42 million retirees got in 2016 or 2015.