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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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Frederic Patzke

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your site?Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.Maybe you could space it out better?

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  2. Tina K Decker

    I cant get an account for my mother and she needs an award letter for 2020. :How do i get one for her without signing up for my social security

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Tina, 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. Your mother 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.

  3. Jonathan D. Block

    Requesting a copy of my 2019 SS award letter. Thank you

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Jonathan, 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.

  4. shirley huskey

    i need an award for proof of income my name is shirley huskey 421768386 dob 06/11/1954

  5. Leonard J Lombardo

    I need a copy of 2020 award letter for purpose of refinance

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Leonard. 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.

  6. William Ward

    I need a copy of me 2020 awards letter

  7. Vi Schultz

    i need someone to please email or send me the award letter for social security and ssi for 2019.

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Vi, 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.

  8. Mary Skinner

    I need a copy of my 2020 Award letter stating what my monthly benifit is. I’m trying to get a reverse mortgage and they need it. My ss# is *** – ** – ***. My birthday is 11/16/1947. Can you please mail me this letter to
    Mary Skinner
    5808 NW 144th Circle
    Vancouver WA 98685
    My cel# is 360-608-4555
    This is the only piece they need to confirm the mortgage
    Thank you
    Mary Skinner
    My email address I’d mds98685@yahoo.com

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Mary, 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.

  9. PATRICIA wood

    How do I get the latest award letter from Social Security

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Patricia, 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, 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 proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

  10. Mary Roshia Ellison

    Am I entitled to any more money on my SS check?

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Mary, thanks for the question. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are adjusted to reflect the increase, if any, in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The purpose of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security and SSI benefits is not eroded by inflation. Check out our Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) web page for more details. Thanks!

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