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Social Security benefits increasing in 2019

Social Security benefits, COLA, increaseSocial Security benefits are increasing. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are getting a 2.8% payment boost in the coming months, and for the first time ever, you’ll be able to see your new benefit amounts online.

Adjustments

The cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) will begin for SSI beneficiaries on December 31, 2018. The COLA for Social Security recipients will start in January 2019. The annual COLA increase is based on the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Social Security wages

There are other adjustments that take effect in January and are based on the increase in average wages. One of these, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax, will go up from $128,400 to $132,900.

Online access

You can now check out all the adjustments to your Social Security benefits online. Normally Social Security and SSI recipients get mail in early December with their new benefit amount. This year, you can also see your COLA notice through your my Social Security account. Only exceptions: if you have a foreign address or pay higher Medicare premiums because of your income.

Medicare

Changes to Medicare for 2019 are also expected. That information will be available at www.medicare.gov. If you receive Social Security and Medicare, Social Security will not able to give you a benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts are announced for 2019.

Elizabeth Bolt