COLA

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2021

October 13, 2020 • By

Last Updated: July 21, 2021

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 personal 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

Comments

  1. Gracie

    My Mom needs verification of her Social Security and SSI to renew her lease. Why does it day 5-10 days to get a code? Why can’t it just be emailed to her.

    • Vonda

      Hi Gracie, 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 mom 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. Mary Green

    When can i apply Medicare benefit i am 64 now

    • Vonda

      Hi Mary, thank you for using our blog. Generally, individuals receiving Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you are at least 64 years and 9 months old and aren’t receiving Social Security benefits, you can apply for Medicare A and B online.

      If you already have Medicare Part A and need to sign up for Medicare Part B, there are some forms that you will need to complete and submit. See our Frequently Asked Questions web page for options on how to submit those forms. We hope this helps!

  3. orvil m bray

    i cant get my social security page to work i moved now it says cant load my page

    • Vonda

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

      For assistance with your account, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. Jerry Graham

    I need, immediately, copies of our (my wife and I) notices of our monthly social security benefits. I need to, immediately, give copies to Kaiser Medical for financial aid that they offer. My wife on Wednesday has an expensive test and we can’t afford it. Please call so we can give you our SS numbers. My mobil number is 253-230-2678. Thank you in advance.

    • Vonda

      Hi Jerry, 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.

  5. David E Harris

    What is cost for Part B in 2021

    • Sue

      Hi, David, and thanks for your question. The standard Medicare Part B premium in 2021 is $148.50/month. For more information about Medicare costs, visit the Your Medicare Costs webpage. Some Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes pay more for their Medicare premiums. We hope this helps.

  6. Ann

    What is 2021’s maximum allowable monthly amount, from a person’s monthly SS payment, to pay for Shelter & Utility Expenses for holding a rental in the community when that person is in Short-Term Nursing Home care?

  7. aida izzedin

    how can i apply for mrdicaid

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Aida. To apply for Medicaid or 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!

  8. Gloria bachofner

    Why is my check no longer being sent to my bank as of 2021 ?

    • Vonda

      Hi Gloria, thanks for using our blog. You can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  9. Bob Brud

    If I take social security early . Will my government pension affect my earned income limits and penalize me for drawing social security early?

    • Sue

      Hi, Bob, and thanks for your question. See our Frequently Asked Question about working and getting Social Security retirement benefits. When we figure out how much to deduct from your Social Security benefits if you are younger than full retirement age, we count only the wages you make from your job or your net earnings if you’re self-employed. We don’t count pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, veterans, or other government or military retirement benefits. We do include bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay.

      However, your Social Security benefit could be reduced if you receive a non-covered government pension where you did not pay Social Security taxes on your government earnings. For more information about the Windfall Elimination Provision, see our Frequently Asked Question. We hope this helps.

  10. Kris

    My 88 year old mother cannot find her letter from SS that tells her what her monthly payment is for 2021. She needs to send a copy to my deceased father’s former place of employment for insurance and pension reasons. How do we obtain a copy?

    • Vonda

      Hi Kris, thanks for reading our blog and for your question. We mailed the COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. Your mother can also securely view and save the Social Security COLA notice online via the Message Center inside her my Social Security account .

      She also may be able to request a benefit verification letter, sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter, by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. She 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.

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