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Social Security recipients get .3% COLA in 2017

10-19-2016 - The federal government has announced a Social Security cost-of-living increase for 2017, the first such increase in two years. However, the increase will be only .3%. This amounts to an additional $4 per month for the typical Social Security recipient. Critics claim the increase does not allow seniors to keep pace with living expenses, which tend to be heavily weighted by rapidly escalating health care costs.

COLA is based on CPI-W, the consumer price index for wage earners. That index has remained relatively flat due to depressed oil prices. Some lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders, want to scrap the CPI-W as the basis for determining COLA and replace it with a different formula, the CPI-E (cost of living index for the elderly) that places more emphasis on housing and health costs.

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