Social Security Benefits Increase in 2019

January 3, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

" "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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. bp

    I know I get “MY SOCIAL SECURITY”, but What is “federal benefit”? I don’t receive welfare or medicaid, so wondering if I am missing this monthly “entitlement”?

    • Tony M.

      No welfare or medicaid? It means you were lucky to be not so sick, unhealthy or poor to qualify. To receive those benefits, you would be within the poorest 25% of the population (and typically very unhealthy or with chronic conditions). Appreciate your success or luck to NOT be qualified for those programs, like housing for the homeless or food pantry for the hungry.

  2. L.C. D.

    My Social Security with the “benefit increase”, is actually being cut from 2018 amount of $321.40 to the 2019 amount of $289.00 per month.
    I paid into Social Security for 29 years, and waited until 66 to begin drawing Social Security. However, because I worked very hard and had two careers, one a County government career which did not pay into SS, and the other a long career in the military reserves, my Social Security benefit was initially reduced from $1,200 per month to $640 per month before MediCare.
    This year, in 2019, part B costs increased with IRMAA to $352, a month, which leaves me a total Social Security benefit of $289 per month. Thank you Congress for cutting my Social Security benefit and breaking promises of free lifetime healthcare with a military retirement, and continuing to reduce the amount received in my Social Security benefits.
    I do not recommend anyone waiting past age 62 to receive SS benefits.

    • Tony M.

      Since you had a County government career and a long career in the military reserves, you are receiving 2 other pensions. Thus SS is not your primary pension, and as a County & Military employee, you contributed nothing into SS. I’m not a loss to understand your objections given your other sources of pension income.

      • wes

        so your company matched 401 should be treated the same?

  3. Andrea

    The COLA increase is a sham, because with the increase, expect to see higher Medicare premium cost. So, I have seen no difference in my benefit amount from this or the last adjustment.

  4. Barbara S.

    I didn’t get a COLA increase last year. Am I going to get one this year?

    • John


    • Rochelle l.

      I did not receive a raise last year either when most did.. How Come?

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Rochelle. Thanks for your question. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. The Social Security Act contains a “hold harmless” provision that protects most beneficiaries. The amount of the benefit will stay the same even though the Medicare Part B premium increases. For information about Medicare premiums in 2019, visit Medicare‘s website. Hope this helps!

    • jessie J.

      I have not recieved my cola for 2019 or 2020..Why?

  5. Linda F.

    The Medicare cost increased 20% . so when it’s all said and done, I get a whooping net COLA of about $18/month…very sad considering the fact that Confessional member have life long FREE MEDICAL COVERAGE !

    • Tony M.

      Our federal & state and local government employees receive very generous working and retirement Medical. It is the nature of those jobs, and why those jobs are highly coveted, plus layoffs are rare. However, under Obama in his last several years of administration, about 80% of new Fed employees were Vets so the Fed Gov favors Vets over civilians.

  6. James K.

    Why did we not receive any increase in 2015 & 2016 and the increase in 2017 was taken for Medicare??? You are abusing seniors who have paid in for many many years.

    • Rochelle L.

      I would like to know that too..

  7. Tom

    to little to late

  8. David i.

    I wish the COLA was not determined as a %, but that the COLA would be determined by the % times the number of persons receiving SS and then take the final number and divide it by the number of people receiving SS so that everyone gets the same amount of increase, not the higher recipients getting a larger % increase….It costs no more for a loaf of bread whether or not a person is at the top of SS or at the bottom, so why should the top recipients get a bigger increase via the % application?

    This would be a fair way to “spread the wealth”, concept.

    • Sane t.

      David (in Ma, of course) Can you please explain why this “share the wealth concept” should apply? For too long, the Left has pushed this idiocy and it has, I fear, become the driving force in this country. Let’s just give up. Let’s have free college, free healthcare, forgiveness of student debt, guaranteed minimum income, $40 per hour (hell, $100 per hour) minimum wage. Would that satisfy you.

      • John J.


      • Tony M.

        It is because the WWII generation received the biggest welfare scheme (the GI Bill, still today) and the generosity of corportae success (DB retirement plans, subsidized Medical, etc.) Corporations have eliminated much of those benefits for workers, and the GI Bill only applies to our “volunteer Army” so today’s workers have less support than those under around age 65 who lived in a more generous times.

    • Shelley

      The ones that receive the biggest amount, paid in the biggest amount.

  9. Cynthia R.

    I have a ticket to work. Does the amount I can earn yearly increase? Just curious about this I haven’t been able to find this on the web site.
    Thank you

    • Luis d.

      Disculpen Pero tengo cita cada mes como le puedo Aser ???

  10. Stan H.

    After the Congressional changes in Medicare and other issues, the statement that SS Benefits will increase becomes a lie. My benefits will go down about a dollar a month and my wife’s benefits go down more than $6 a month. That is based on the Social Security Adm. information sheet for 2019 that we received last month.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your comment, Stan. When there is an increase in the Medicare Part B premium, a statutory “hold harmless” provision protects approximately 70 percent of Medicare Part B enrollees from paying a higher Part B premium to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit. Enrollees not protected include higher income individuals subject to an income-adjusted Part B premium and beneficiaries newly entitled to Part B in 2019. Additionally, enrollees who have their Medicare Part B premiums paid by state Medicaid agencies will see no change in their Social Security benefit. The state will pay any Medicare Part B premium increase.

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