COLA

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2019

January 3, 2019 • By

" "Each year we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Usually, there is an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month, starting the following January. Law requires that federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

The CPI-W rises when prices increase for the things the average consumer buys. This means that when prices for goods and services we purchase become more expensive, on average, the COLA increases benefits and helps beneficiaries keep up with the changing cost of living.

More than 67 million Americans will see a 2.8 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2019.

This month marks other changes based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax will increase to $132,900 in 2019. The retirement earnings test exempt amount will also increase.

Want to know your new benefit amount? In December 2018, we posted Social Security COLA notices online for retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries who have a my Social Security account. You can view and save these COLA notices securely via the Message Center inside my Social Security.

Next year, be the first to know! Sign up for or log in to your personal my Social Security account. Choose email or text under “Message Center Preferences” to receive courtesy notifications so you won’t miss your electronic COLA notice!

This year, even if you accessed your COLA notice online, you still received your COLA notice by mail. In the future, you will be able to choose whether you receive your notice online instead of on paper. Online notices will not be available to representative payees, individuals with foreign mailing addresses, or those who pay higher Medicare premiums due to their income. We plan to expand the availability of COLA notices to additional online customers in the future.

Check our website for more information about the 2019 COLA. You can also read our publication Cost-of-Living Adjustment.


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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

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  1. Cheryle Chank

    I need a 2020 Social Security Benefit letter emailed to me. I requested a benefit letter 2 weeks ago and I still do not have it. Please help. I cannot use My Social Security it is stuck in a loop.

    Reply
    • Ruben Santiago

      I need a copy of a award letter for a loan if you can email me please at yago631@yahoo.com.

      Reply
      • Vonda

        Hi Ruben, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter. You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

        Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Cheryle, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter. You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. linda menaker

    I am trying to buy a condo and they are asking for a 2020 award letter can you help me please thank you

    Reply
    • Sue

      Thank you for using our blog and for your question, Linda. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how you can access and print an award letter using your free personal my Social Security account. This letter is sometimes called a benefit verification letter, a budget letter, a benefits letter, and a proof of income letter. You may also be able to request an award letter by using our automated telephone services at 1-800-772-1213. Our automated services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting an award letter. We hope this helps and good look on your home purchase!

      Reply
  3. David White

    I need a copy of my SS benefits for 2019. How do I get that?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi David, thanks for using our blog. For a 2019 SSA-1099, you will need to call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  4. Thomas A Meany

    Why am I not able to change my HOME address? you provide NO opportunities for me to do that.
    My tax forms were sent to my old address.
    please contact me. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Thomas, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to change your address. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  5. Dennis Rawlins

    I need a copy of my cost of living adjustment letter for 2019 regarding 2020 premium costs. Can it be emailed to me?
    SS# ***-**-****

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Dennis, thank you for your question. In your personal, my Social Security account, you can check your benefit and payment information. In the Payment Details section, the Payment History tab allows you to view and print your current benefit and payment information as well as historical information for the past two years.

      If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk” or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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