The Social Security Administration has announced a 2.8 percent increase in benefits in 2019, the largest increase since 2012.
Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means recipients get a boost in 2019. The 2.8 percent increase is higher than last year’s 2 percent rise and the .3 percent increase in 2017. The cost of living change also affects the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax, which will grow from $128,700 to $132,900.
And there is more good news: Unlike last year's increase, the additional income should not be entirely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will increase only $1.50 to $135.50.
Most beneficiaries will be able to find out their cost of living adjustment online by logging on to my Social Security in December 2018. While you will still receive your increase notice by mail, in the future you will be able to choose whether to receive your notice online instead of on paper.
For 2019, the monthly federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment standard will be $771 for an individual and $1,157 for a couple.
For more on the 2019 Social Security benefit levels, click here.