- Written by John Johnston John Johnston
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, the Social Security Administration announced recently.
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 Dec. 31, 2018.
The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400.
Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount.
This year, for the first time, most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their My Social Security account, which can be created and accessed at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.
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.
To read more, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
John Johnston is a Social Security public affairs specialist.