Social Security Benefits Increase in 2019

January 3, 2019 • By

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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

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Samuel J.

    I have been collecting SS benefits since I’m 65 years old and I’m still working at the age of 77 so should my benefits be higher.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Samuel. Thanks for your question. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to figure your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. Generally, we will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or contact your local office directly for further assistance. We hope this helps.

  2. Lois

    1.6%. MY SS CHECK LAST YEAR WAS $1,636.00 THIS YEAR IT WAS $1,799.00. THEN SS TAKES OUT $144.60 WHICH LEFT ME WITH $1,655.00
    AN INCREASE OF $11.00

  3. Rigoberto S.

  4. Donna M.

    Can I have a benefit award letter for 2019 mailed to me?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Donna. For your security, we do not have access to private information. If you need a benefit verification letter, you can view, print, and save your benefit verification letter by creating a personal my Social Security account online. We hope this helps.

  5. rob k.

    how does one qualify for Medicare/Medicaid if they never paid in

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Rob. For information on Medicare benefits, check out To request more information about Medicaid, you will need to call your state medical assistance office. To get the local phone number, call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). Thanks!

  6. Charles r.

    I plan on making 27000 dollars in 2020 will my benefits be cut first of year or last of year my age is 63

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Charles. If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. We deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2020 that limit is $18,240. To learn more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions or check out our Benefits Planner: Getting Benefits While Working. If you have specific questions, you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and speak with one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. We hope this helps.

  7. Lewis M.

    I am trying to get the schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments 2020, but can’t find it. Has it been published? Is it available online yet? Please let me know how I can access it.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Lewis. It sounds like you are referring to the schedule of Social Security benefit payments calendar. If so, you can find it here. We hope this helps.

  8. Manappallil C.

    I have not yet received the New Benefit amount of 2020
    stating the medicare Medical Insurance details as well as the social Security increase amount for the year 2020.My
    details as follows.
    Manappallil K Chacko. Social ending in 1287,
    Address:- 648 Lake City Drive,
    Lewisville, TX 75056.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mannppallil. If you still need a benefit verification letter, you can view, print, and save your benefit verification letter by creating a personal my Social Security account online. Just a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media. We hope this helps.

  9. gary a.

    change my address

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Gary. If you are receiving Social Security retirement or disability, you can create a personal my Social Security account to change your address online. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, you should contact your local office immediately. We hope this helps.

  10. Peggy J.

    My name is Peggy J. Hill. I have not received my Benefit Letter for 2020. I need to know how much my check will be??? My Social Security number is *** – ** – ***. Thank You Sincerely, Peggy Joe Hill

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Peggy. If you still need a benefit verification letter, you can view, print, and save your benefit verification letter by creating a personal my Social Security account online. We hope this helps.

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