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. Sherrie l Madgyesi

    I was wondering if I could get a copy of my first award letter from back in January, sent to my e-mail address and here is our e-mail address:cemslmad@gmail.com. I really appreciate it very much.
    Thanks again again,
    Sherrie Madgyesi

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Sherrie, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter, which 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.

  2. Valerie Davis

    How can I get an Award letter at this time?

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Valerie. 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. Thanks!

  3. James C. Garrett

    I need a copy of my 2020 award letter.

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, James. It sounds like you are referring to a benefit verification. 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!

  4. Diana Sinclair

    I swear, it is so damned difficult to sign in to “my social security,” I am ready to sue you guys!! I need a copy of my award letter for 2020 for a mortgage and residency application for a mobile home park, and I need it NOW!! I tried signing in three times, got locked out, and I need the letter TODAY – since my roommate wants me out by July 31, and I need to close escrow on or before that date.
    Email me with my logon ID or just send a copy of the letter via email to Diana Sinclair, DOB 8-28-1948, last four SS# digits 3426. TODAY!!

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Diana, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. You also may be able to get 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 benefit verification letter.

  5. silver rate

    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.

  6. Lydia Dejesus

    Need awards letter please

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Lydia. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to get a benefit verification letter, also known as an 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 benefit verification letter. We hope this helps.

  7. Christy Rilley

    I need my awards letter for my apartment complex for proof of income

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Christy, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification 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 benefit verification letter. We hope this helps.

      • Lydia Dejesus

        Yes

  8. Evelyne Crochet

    I need the amounts of my SS benefits and if part A or B were withheld, in order to complete my taxes for 2019.
    I don’t recall my password. evecerto@yahoo.com. My ID is EVELYNEC

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Evelyne, Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to retrieve or change your username or password.

      If you are unable to obtain a replacement SSA-1099 online, you may be able to request a replacement SSA-1099 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 replacement SSA-1099. We hope this helps.

  9. Katie Belenfante

    Trying to get copies of award letters

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Katie, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification 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 benefit verification letter. We hope this helps.

  10. Karen H Batchelor

    How can I get a copy of an award letter? I misplaced mine and they will not accept my bank statement of deposit.

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Karen, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification 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 benefit verification letter. We hope this helps.

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