2017 SSA Changes

Social Security Law

COLA or Cost of Living Adjustments are meant to keep benefits on track with inflation rates. The 2017 COLA adjustment is .3%.

The tax rate is remaining unchanged, with employees still being taxed at 7.65% and self-employed persons being taxed at 15.3%.

The Maximum taxable earnings for 2017 has increased, so now the first $127,200 of your earnings are taxable for SSA purposes.


The maximum dollar amount you can make while receiving retirement has also increased. Under full retirement age – the amount you can earn without being penalized is $16,920 per year or $1,410 per month. Above this amount, one dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 you earn.

The year you reach full retirement age, the amount has increased to $44,880/year or $3,740/month before you lose one dollar in benefits for every $3 you earn. There is no limit for earnings beginning the month you reach full retirement age.

The Maximum amount you can receive in SSI in 2017:
Individual: $735/month
Couple: $1,103/month

Resources remain unchanged at $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.

The maximum SSDI/Retirement benefit has also increased to $2,687 per month.

What SSA considers to be substantial and gainful activity (SGA) is $1,170/month for non-blind individuals and $1,950/month for blind individuals. And a trial work period now is defined as any month you make over $840/month.

SSA is estimating that in 2017 the average retired worker is receiving $1,360 per month in SS benefits and the average disabled worker is receiving $1,171 per month in SS benefits.

  • Figures are from NOSSCR Volume 38, Number 12

Please visit our website: www.socialsecurityjustice.com or contact one of our Bailey & Galyen offices for additional information.