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. Lesly F.

    I going on 65 years old on March 13, 2018
    I apploy for retirement but i don’t have in off earning credit i need to if i will not qualify for benefits from ssa.i have an claim pending

    • 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.
      We hope this helps!

  2. Frances J.

    Thank you so much. Seniors are living longer and increases of everything make it so difficult to survive. I see so many people purchasing cat and dog food to have a meal. $15 can’t feed one person for a month. Yet, $200 per month is given for babies.

  3. TheOldRanger

    Glad to hear since everything else is going up. The gas companies are out of control with their constant price increases, which then impacts everything else like groceries, utilities, etc. And of course, City, State, and Federal taxes are up as well.

    • Patrick N.

      YES, I agree with you 100%!!!

  4. Floyd E.

    Ssi $20.00 dollar raise this year. Is it another chance for another raise in SSI 2019. It says that looking at an email Thursday October 11th 2019.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Floyd. 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. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center. Thanks!

  5. Betty j.

    There are times , when I work an hour or two. Unable to stand or walk a long period of time. I make a few dollars. They take out SS# .IT is paid to me monthly. I will be 90 October 30. Do I continue my current procedure. Thank you. This ability to text is fantastic. Betty J. Hunt.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Betty. Under current law, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Thanks!

  6. R. s.

    I can not enter my personal info. The site changes my ID to all caps and won’t let me sign in.

    • Ray F.

      If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •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”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  7. Mary K.

    Won’t Medicare get our increase?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mary. 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!

  8. Susan M.

    I am locked out of my SS online account….can you tell me what I have to do?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Susan. If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •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”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  9. Nola J.

    It is nice to receive a raise in our social security (COLA) but we don’t realize it because Medicare is raised to almost as much as our COLA raise BUT our “gross” looks like we got a nice raise but like I said. .. We never realize it. Not fair to people on a “fixed income”. Everything keeps getting more expensive and we have less and less to live on.

    • Patrick N.

      I see your point!

    • N W.

      That’s why we are encouraged to have our own savings and retirement income.

      • Marc

        Wow. Your audacity astounds me. I had a nice retirement fund, insurance, owned a home I could afford, put money in savings every month, had a budget. Made a comfortable income in a professional career. Then the 2008 stock market mess took half my 401k overnight. A year later I was stricken with an incurable progressive degenerative disease and lost my job. By the time I was approved for disability I’d lost my house, gone through what was left of my 401k just to live on, and had to file for bankruptcy. It had never crossed my mind that I could become disabled and destitute overnight, much less how many truly contemptible people there are in the world who hurl this kind of ignorant abuse at others. Watch out that high horse you’re on doesn’t throw you off. Then you, too can feel the nastiness of people who judge others they know nothing about.

        • Dan

          Hell yeah!! Exact scenario happened to me now I’m barely hanging on when I used to be financially secure. To the people who judge others without knowing what they have went through beware because Karma’s a bitch

        • Johnmd

          Shouldn’t have been greedy and put money in stocks. A savings account is safe

        • Maxine T.

          I am sorry you experienced such bad luck, and even sorrier that people are using this forum to spew vitriol toward some of our unfortunate and ill elderly. I know many others who have never recovered from the crash of ‘08-‘16 and who now rely heavily on the SS system they paid into all their lives. SS is not enough, but they are sick and can’t work.

          We owned a business and cashed out half of our retirement to keep our doors open and to pay staff so we didn’t have to lay them off. The remainder was in RE and the stock market, which were wiped out. The 2.8% sure isn’t much, but I’m hoping the next tax cut will eliminate taxes on SS, which was never designed to be taxed…. a tax bill was written by one political party to add income tax on SS payments for seniors. It’s the same party that went into the fund and took money that was supposed to be invested to build equity in our SS accounts for long-term payouts.

  10. Dan

    How are we supposed to get by when you take our increase for Medi care. Its
    literally peanuts

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