Social Security and SSI benefits increase 2.8% in 2019

Social Security and SSI benefits increase 2% in 2018By Diane M. Wilson CFP®  Social Security and SSI benefits increase 2.8% in 2019 accourding to the Social Security Administration.  The cost of living adjustment (COLA) was announced on October 11, 2019. The increase will apply to Social Security retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

The COLA applies to Social Security retirement benefits payable in January 2019.  More than 62 million beneficiaries receive retirement benefits.  Supplemental Security Income benefits will increase on December 29, 2018.  More than 8 million beneficiaries recieve SSI benefits.

Cost of living adjustments (COLA) are determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The annual COLA is tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as required by the Social Security Act.

For August 2018, the Social Security Administration shows the average retired worker receives $1,422 a month, this may mean $39 extra a month in the pockets of the average beneficiary.

The 2.8 percent increase for 2019 is the largest since 2012.  Beneficiaries in 2012 received a 3.6 percent increase. The COLA’s for the past seven years were:

  • 2018 — 2.0 percent
  • 2017 — 0.3 percent
  • 2016 — 0 percent (no adjustment)
  • 2015 — 1.7 percent
  • 2014 — 1.5 percent
  • 2013 — 1.7 percent
  • 2012 — 3.6 percent

Information about Medicare changes for 2019, 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. The final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and mySocial Security Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit