COLA

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2021

October 13, 2020 • By

Last Updated: October 13, 2020

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 1.3 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2021. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

The CPI-W rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost-of-living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) helps to offset these costs.

We will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. But, if you want to know your new benefit amount sooner, you can securely obtain the Social Security COLA notice online using the Message Center in your my Social Security accountYou can access this information in early December prior to the mailed notice.

If you prefer to access your COLA notice online instead of receiving the mailed notice, you can log in to your personal my Social Security account  to opt out of a mailed COLA notice and any other notices that are available online by updating your Preferences in the Message Center. You can also choose to receive a text or email alert when there is a new notice. That way, you always know when we have something important for you – like your COLA notice. If you don’t have an account yet, you must create one by November 18, 2020 to receive the 2021 COLA notice online.

January 2021 marks other changes that will happen based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax in 2021 will be higher. The retirement earnings test exempt amount will also change in 2021.

Be the first to know! Sign up for or log in to your personal my Social Security account today. Choose email or text under “Message Center Preferences” to receive courtesy notifications.

You can find more information about the 2021 COLA here.

 


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

  1. Margaret A Callaghan

    I need a copy of my husband and my 2021 cola statement how do I get it

    • Vonda

      Hi Margaret, 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.

  2. J Sims

    Can you apply for ssi while receiving social security retirement payment

    • Vonda

      Hi Joe, thanks for using our blog. If you have low income and limited resources, you may be able to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. Children with disabilities can get SSI, too. To find out who qualifies and how to apply, go to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits web page.

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