Social Security Benefits to Increase in 2019

October 11, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

man and woman on balcony outside smiling 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. By law, federal benefits 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 monthly benefit levels and helps you keep up with the changing cost of living.

As a result, more than 67 million Americans will see a 2.8 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2019.

January 2019 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, as well as the retirement earnings test exempt amount, will change in 2019.

Want to know your new benefit amount as soon as possible? In December 2018, we will post Social Security COLA notices online for retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries who have a personal my Social Security account. You will be able to view and save these COLA notices securely via the Message Center inside my Social Security.

Be the first to know! Sign up for or log in to your personal my Social Security account today and choose email or text under “Message Center Preferences” to receive courtesy notifications so you won’t miss your electronic COLA notice!

This year, you will still receive 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.

You can find more information about the 2019 COLA here.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Iris I.

    Ok, WOW…2.8% COLA increase….
    BUT… how much will The cost of Medicare and the Suppliments and Advantage programs increase?
    Probably thosecosts will offset the 2.8% and the Retired person will maybe have an increase enough for a second cup of coffee at Starbucks!

    • camille v.

      your absolutely right iris

      • Terri

        Who can afford Starbucks?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Iris. Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at
      For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center. Thanks!

    • gregory b.

      WOW… is right on for America were we live pay our taxes an die trying to make ends meet not to mention all of you folks out there that had to get a lawyer just to get social security just so the lawyer could end up with 1/3 of your money we are suposed to get at the very ripe very old age of 65 no good to any one except a fast food joint if you can stand on yet feet long enough to get touse burgers to the cuonter with frys nuggets and a soft drink 1/2 waterd down and flat,

  2. W.K.Perry

    This site is to confuessing thus worthless and a waste of tax payer money.

    All any of the viewers want to know is what % increase for 2019 .
    Just more of a wasted news letter.

    • Ray F.

      Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019. The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. Thanks!

      • Lucille M.

        Will this raise go on our socpal security checl or mecicare the last few raises I got went on medicare

  3. Kevin E.

    I am unable to access my account. I put in the name and user number and get an error message. So show I create a new account or what?

    • Ray F.

      We are sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty accessing your my Social Security account, Kevin.
      If you are still having trouble accessing your account, please call our dedicated my Social Security—Hotline. To reach this hotline, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”. Sometimes you may have to contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  4. Bobbyetta G.

    Will medicare premiums cost more in 2019?

  5. Guy i.

    Does this include SSDI as well?

    • AKA


    • Ray F.

      The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) applies to all beneficiaries. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. Thanks!

      • tod

        Is there a way to prevent the state governments from taking our COLA increases? The State of Kansas reduced my SNAP payments as “a result of the 2.8% cost of living increase in Social Security and/or SSI benefits that will occur in January 2019”. [quote from the State’s letter] My COLA increase will be just $2.

        • Vonda V.

          Hello there. Thank you for using our blog to ask your question. You will need to contact the state regarding your concerns.

          • tod

            Thank you for your reply. Fortunately, Kansas elected democrat Laura Kelly as governor, so I have hope that social services and education will no longer be cut to give rich republicans tax cuts. Once she is in place, I do plan on contacting someone in next year’s administration.

    • gregory b.

      Think we will ever again see the kind if rases we saw when Mr. Bill Clinton was our man in social seurity. And will the day ever come for any one not to go to a lawer to claim social security benifets?

  6. Bonny L.

    Thank you very much. Its greatly appreciated. Ive recently retired this year. I don’t get a large check and I am paying part B and a supplement insurance too. I live with my friend. I can’t afford to rent on my own. Maybe someday part B will be free. I would like to try for Medicaid in 2019 . This is all new to me . I just wanted to thank you for all the updates and making this transition understandable for me. Thank You .

    • Ray F.

      Hello Bonny. Please visit the Medicare website at to learn about programs available to assist people with low income to pay for Medical expenses. Many states also have programs to help with Medicare payments. You can find out about them by calling 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). We hope this information helps!

  7. Lesly F.

    I going to be 65 years old on March 13, 2018.but i didn’t have in off earning credit from ssa.i have 25 credit.i need another 15 credit now my claim is pending for my benefits.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Lesly. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. Please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Also, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. Thanks!
      We hope this helps!

  8. David i.

    I would like to see the % system scrapped and ue the COLA figures to compile a same payment amount to all SS recipients, the % system gives more to the higher recipients than the lower. If a system to use % to conclude the same amounts to all SS receivers it would be better…. simply because no matter what a persons income from SS is, it still amounts to purchases to both are the same, so COLA type increases should also be the same.

  9. Colleen M.

    COLA does not keep up with the cost of living. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    • Mousielove

      Agree! I’d also love to see a permanent adjustment for women’s “wages” to make them equal to men. When is THAT adjustment coming through, Social Security? (not holding my breath)

      • Kathy R.

        If they can fulfill the requirements then they should get the same rate but not just because they are a woman!

        • Veronica

          I completely agree! Just because one is a woman does not justify getting paid more than anybody else period!

        • Michelle S.

          I was a manager doing mans work far above what any man was doing in our 100+ stores and I never received any raise at the top level of pay even though I was rated the best at what I did (above the men performing the same duties} GIVE UP WOMEN!

      • Rosemary W.

        The last COLA increase for me was $38 however they raised my Part B by $36 so I got a raise of $2 bucks. How is this helping us. Our rent and utilities keep going up but our pay does not. Why are you taking away our increases. Find another way to adjust your Part B and not take our food and money away from us

        • Anna

          Same! Wonder how much they will take for part A/B this 2019 ? I’m sure medicare will take it all again except $2, again..

          • Jcatz

            I didn’t even get $2. more deposited in my checking acct. For 2016, 2017, and 2018, I have received the same amt. ea. month after the Medicare deduction. Any small increase in the COLA is eaten up by increases in Medicare. Don’t know yet but I might get a couple of $$ more in my hand in 2019. At least I hope so.

        • Ralph

          The the medicare part b increases have outpaced the cola for me for the last four consecutive years. Consequently, my net socialsecurity amount has remained staignant.

          • Edna

            My social security amount has remained stagnant. Keep reading how many millions of people are receiving an increase, but everyone I talk to is stagnant.

    • Lisa

      I agree, if someone is receiving other benefits such as food stamps and /or housing, along with Disability,/ SSI the other benefits will decrease because of this small increase. I watched it happen to my elderly parents before they passed a couple years ago. And now myself being on disability.

      • tod

        That’s exactly what happened to me. Social Security Disability gave me a $21/month increase. Then the state of Kansas took $19/month from my SNAP benefits.

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    • Lynn

      I have a question I claimed my mom thats on ssi that lives with me, as a dependent on my tax return for 2019. I know I want get the 500 child credit for the stimulus check but she receive one since shes on SSI or does it exclude her cause I claimed her as a dependent on my return?

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