For seniors who depend on their Social Security benefits to survive, the end of the year is often fraught with worry as Social Security recipients await possible changes to their benefits in the new year. While 2016 brought inconvenient changes that caused many seniors to alter their economic strategies, 2017’s Social Security changes are looking mostly beneficial, meaning recipients should be optimistic about the state of their benefits.

As the calendar rolls into 2017, it’s important that you learn about the biggest changes to Social Security that you can expect. Discover the most important Social Security changes in 2017 and how new rules might affect you and your necessary benefits in the coming year.


Expect a Minor Monthly Pay Increase

One of the biggest Social Security disappointments of 2016 is that recipients did not receive a cost of living (COL) increase to their benefits. COL increases are meant to help anyone receiving Social Security to deal with rising prices, and when no increase is granted it can leave many people struggling to get by. Fortunately, one of the biggest Social Security changes in 2017 is a small COL increase that should help seniors across the country.

If you receive monthly Social Security benefits, then in 2017 you can expect to see a monthly COL increase of 0.3%, which for most beneficiaries will be about $5 per check.


Look for a Small Bump in Maximum Possible Payout

If you retired at the current full retirement age of 66, then you can also expect serious benefits thanks to the changes Social Security will see in 2017, especially when it comes to your maximum possible payout amount.

In 2016, the maximum possible payout for a full retirement age recipient was $2,639. In 2017, the maximum possible payout will be increased to $2,687—a total addition of $48. Although this may not seem like too large of a bump, it might end up being very substantial for many seniors due to the projected rising costs of Medicare premiums and deductibles.


Working with Social Security and Taxes

If you are still working, whether you’re a senior or not, there are some additional Social Security changes that will be taking effect in 2017 that you should be sure to understand.

For starters, the tax cap is being raised this year, which means both you and your employer can pay a higher amount into the system. The maximum taxable income in 2017 will be $127,200, which is nearly a $10,000 increase from last year’s amount. Additionally, if you’re a senior that works and receives Social Security, the amount of income at which your benefits are withheld will be slightly higher in the coming year—$16,920 in 2017 compared to $15,720 in 2016.


Go Over Social Security Changes in 2017 with an Attorney

Unlike in some years, most of the Social Security changes poised to take place in 2017 will be generally beneficial to seniors receiving regular payments. Because some Social Security changes in 2017 may be hard to understand, you should get information and advice about your benefits from a knowledgeable attorney at the Stano Law Firm.

In addition to providing estate planning services and help with elder law, the Stano Law Firm also holds regular seminars about issues that seniors care about. Contact us today to learn how we can work for you.