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Social Security Benefits to Increase by 1.6%

POSTED November 5, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 69 million Americans will increase just 1.6 percent in 2020, the Social Security Administration announced last month.

The 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 63 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2020. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2019. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).

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 $137,700 from $132,900.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their my Social Security account. Social Security benefits for 67 millions Americans will go up with 2.8% cost-of-living increase in 2019.

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is less than the 2.8 percent increase in 2019.