SSA COLA History: Know All About Last 20 Years Social Security COLA & Latest Projection for 2025

Social Security plays an important role for Americans, especially for retirees, spouses, children, and people with disability. Inflation reduces the purchasing power of Social Security Benefits. Therefore, the government ensures that it should be maintained according to inflation to maintain the potential to make purchases and support people to tackle inflation in a better way.

After the introduction of Social Security, the government has also introduced cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to address the increased wages. It allows beneficiaries to use the benefit of Social Security Check to manage their daily life expenses. The U.S. Government is using COLA to manage inflation properly. SSA COLA History can help to understand the benefits of COLA. Americans should know the History of SSA COLA to understand its importance and impact on beneficiaries.

SSA COLA History

COLA was introduced in the year 1975 to counteract inflation. COLA plays a key role in countering inflation that can reduce the overall value of Social Security Benefits and beneficiaries may receive lower purchasing power. Therefore, every year U.S. Government sets the COLA Percentage and helps people manage increased wages and daily life expenses. To understand the COLA properly, it is essential to understand the SSA COLA History and its importance and reasons for introducing COLA.

Every year government sets the COLA based on CPI-W based on the third quarter of the previous year. It provides some estimates about the inflation to handle daily life expenses. This article will provide information about the reason for the introduction of COLA, and its importance including its history covering the last 20 years. 

COLA History- Overview

Article OnSSA COLA History
DepartmentSocial Security Administration (SSA)
BeneficiaryRetirees, Spouses, Children
Amount As per eligibility
CategoryFinancial Aid

Eligibility for Social Security Benefits

Social Security is provided to some eligible people who fall under the Social Security Benefits. People need to meet this requirement to get benefits under the Social Security Program. 

  • Your age should be 62 or older
  • You have paid Social Security taxes for a minimum of 10 years or more or 
  • If your spouse has worked and paid taxes then you are still able to receive the Social Security Monthly Benefits. 

In the case of children

  • You are eligible to receive this financial support, if your age is lower than 18. 
  • If your age is 18 or 19 and attend full-time elementary or high school, then you are eligible to get a Social Security Check
  • Any individual with a disability is also eligible to get benefits under the Social Security Program, even if they have no work history. 
SSA COLA History: Know All About Last 20 Years Social Security COLA & Latest Projection for 2025

Introduction of COLA

SSA introduced the COLA in the year 1970 and since then it has been part of the Social Security Program. This program is designed to provide external support to an older person who has provided their service to build the nation and contribute by providing taxes. COLA was introduced with the idea to compensate for the increased inflation and manage the beneficiary’s purchasing power to tackle the increased wages. Social Security Checks are the monthly checks that are provided to the beneficiaries to manage their daily life expenses to live a standard life.

However, an increase in inflation can reduce its purchasing power. Thus, the Introduction of COLA allows to regain the purchasing power of Social Security Benefits. Every year COLA is changed according to the previous third quarter calculation. It provides some idea of future increase in inflation and every year this support is provided in the form of COLA. 

COLA from the last 20 years

Every year COLA is varied it has ranged from 0 to 14.3%. For some years COLA Percentage was 0% which means there was no increase in the Social Security Monthly Amount. However, in the year 1980, COLA was 14.3 and was higher in history. Similarly, for the years 2010, 2011, and 2016 COLA was 0%. The last 20-year COLA Percentage is discussed in the table which can help you to understand the changes made in COLA according to inflation for every year. 


Latest Projection: COLA 2025

In current years, high changes in inflation and increased wages have created high challenges for people who are not earning sufficient and have no income. People whose expenses are managed due to Social Security Checks are not able to manage their daily life expenses. A higher older population like retirees is living based on Social Security Monthly Benefits.

Therefore, the government needs to ensure that they receive sufficient to manage their higher wages and daily life expenses. SSA COLA Percentage contributes to receiving higher Social Security Monthly Amount that can help in managing their expenses and living a standard life. Calculating the previous two-quarter, COLA Percentage is projected to 2.57% for 2025. However, after first quarter COLA was estimated 2.66%.

COLA impact on Social Security

COLA works as a compensation amount that is added to the Social Security Monthly Checks. It counters inflation to manage the purchasing power of beneficiaries to manage daily life expenses. COLA is typically equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Clerical Workers and Urban Wage Earner (CPI-W) for a specific period. It is used to measure inflation and set the average prices of goods.

COLA make increases the total Social Security Benefits. It contributes to increasing overall value to maintain Beneficiaries Purchasing Power. You can understand the impact of COLA on Social Security after going through SSA COLA History. It can provide some idea about increase in Social Security Monthly Amount from many years that helps to maintain beneficiary’s purchasing power. 

COLA Impact on Beneficiaries

COLA counteracts inflation and supports beneficiaries to maintain their purchasing power. It helps to increase total SSA Benefits that help people to manage daily life expenditures. COLA has a significant impact that increases the total Social Security Support Amount to deal with increased wages and maintain standard life. It provides increased financial support based on CPI-W. It allows retirees to get some financial support to manage daily expenses and avoid poverty.

Every year government calculates the COLA Percentage that allows retirees and other beneficiaries to possess proper purchasing power. SSA COLA History can provide more insight to understand the COLA and its impact on beneficiaries. 

2 thoughts on “SSA COLA History: Know All About Last 20 Years Social Security COLA & Latest Projection for 2025”

  1. Iam 84 can I be able to get the $291. Since my ss ends in. 1
    I only get $23 and have to pay driver to store.

  2. Congress has a cola formula, but they don’t follow it. It a budget fight. They have acted irresponsibility and stolen from the workers contributions rather than tax and pay as you go. As they spread the responsibility out over all it members and they change over time, no one is responsible. To be ashame or embarrassed is now how they campaign.


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