COLA

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2019

January 3, 2019 • By

Last Updated: January 3, 2019

" "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

Comments

  1. Elizabeth S.

    Trying to find out information for 2019 and 2020.
    I need to know how to work part time. Ticket to work program was suppose to send me paperwork. I called them 2xs already. Haven’t received anything. I do not have enough data to go online

    • Luis A.

      Hi Elizabeth. For your security, we do not have access to your personal information in this forum. For specific questions about your account, please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), from Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. You may also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  2. elo h.

    I just noticed the other day Nov 20 that at 62 early
    I would get 1848.00 a month // Now I see today Nov 23 that my portal is saying that I will get 1914.00 a month ?? /can you advise please . Thank yo

    • Luis A.

      Hi Elo. For your security, we do not have access to your personal information in this forum. Please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), from Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. for assistance. We hope this helps.

  3. Paul R.

    when does the 2020 S.S. benefits increase come out.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Paul. Social Security Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA) notices for 2020 came out in December 2019. The notices will also be available online to most beneficiaries in the Message Center of their personal my Social Security accounts. This new increase will take effect for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on December 31, 2019, and for Social Security payments in January 2020. We hope this helps.

  4. Angela B.

    Why is it so damm hard to access establish account your system sucks

    • Luis A.

      Hi Angela. If you are still unable to access your account or encounter another problem with your personal my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  5. Deborah P.

    I am receiving QMB benefit with my Medicare. What does this mean?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Deborah. The acronym “QMB” stands for “Qualified Medicare Beneficiary.” It is a designation for persons who have Medicare coverage and the State where they live pays for the Medicare monthly premiums. You can find more information here. You should also contact your local Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Program Coordinator) to discuss your health insurance options. We hope this helps.

  6. Mark S.

    Hello I’m receivedin $530 a month my rent is $780 a month I’m always in the hole because of the payment that I’m received I will like to know if it anyway I can get help so I can pay my rent

    • Luis A.

      Hi Mark. Please note that you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include for example, free meals, housekeeping help, and transportation assistance, or help with other problems. For more information about services in your area, and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. You should also contact your local Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Program Coordinator) to discuss your health insurance options. We hope this helps.

  7. Betty C.

    I need a copy of my 2019 “your new benefit amount”

    • Luis A.

      Hi Betty. If you are referring to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) notices for 2019, those notices are being mailed in now, in December. We hope this helps.

  8. Sue E.

    How do I get my last awards letter

    • Luis A.

      Hi Sue. Good news! If you need a benefit verification letter, you can view it, print it, and save it using your personal my Social Security account. We hope this helps.

  9. Fleda G.

    Please send a copy of my current monthly benefits. Need copy for bank. Thank you

    • Luis A.

      Hi Fleda. Good news! If you need a benefit verification letter, you can view it, print it, and save it using your personal my Social Security account. We hope this helps.

  10. Paul B.

    Need a copy of my Social Security notice for 2019. I am trying to finance a home and this is required by the lending agency. I seem to have misplaced the one mailed to me last Jan or Feb. Thanks, Paul Bauereis

    • Luis A.

      Hi Paul. Good news! If you need a benefit verification letter, you can view it, print it, and save your benefit verification letter using your personal my Social Security account. We hope this helps. Please note that your annual SSA-1099 showing the total amount of benefits paid for the year 2019, will be coming to you after we have made the last benefits payment to you in December. We hope this helps.

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