Social Security to provide 2.8% COLA for 2019

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The Social Security Administration said Thursday that the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for 2019 will be 2.8 percent, providing larger Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 67 million people tied to the rate of inflation.

The 2.8 percent COLA will start with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019, while increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 31, 2018. The increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $132,900 from $128,400.

The Social Security Administration has also posted a fact sheet showing how some tax rates and maximum taxable earnings will or won’t change next year, although the tax rates for both employees and self-employed won’t change.

Every year, the Social Security Administration releases a cost of living adjustment for Social Security benefits based on an automatic, pre-determined formula. Last year, the COLA was 2.0 percent. In 2017, it was 0.3 percent.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are usually 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 see their COLA notice online through their my Social Security account. People can create or access their My Social Security account online at

Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at For Social Security beneficiaries who receive Medicare, the Social Security Administration won’t be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. The final 2019 benefit amounts will be sent to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and via the My Social Security Message Center.

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