Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2018
Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 2.0 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2017. In addition, the national average wage index for 2016 is $48,664.73. The cost-of-living increase and national average wage index affect other program parameters as described below.
Social Security Disability Program Demonstration Project: Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD)
We are announcing a demonstration project for the Social Security disability program under title II of the Social Security Act (Act). Under this project, we will modify program rules applied to beneficiaries who work and receive title II disability benefits. We are required to conduct the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD), in compliance with section 823 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015. In this project, we will test simplified work incentives and use a benefit offset based on earnings as an alternative to rules we currently apply to title II disability beneficiaries who work. Under the benefit offset, we will reduce title II disability benefits by $1 for every $2 that a beneficiary earns above a certain threshold. We will select beneficiaries and offer them the opportunity to volunteer for the project. When we make the selection, we will include beneficiaries who receive title II disability benefits only as well as beneficiaries who receive both title II disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on disability or blindness under title XVI of the Act. We are modifying rules that apply to the title II program and the Ticket to Work program under title XI. We will continue to apply the usual SSI program rules for participants who receive SSI payments in addition to title II disability benefits.