Tuesday, November 27, 2018

SSA Announces Benefit Increase

Mirabile dictu, the Social Security Administration announces a 2.8 percent benefit increase for 2019! Last month SSA revealed some welcome news for Americans receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits. So, let’s unpack what this means for the more than 67 million such people in the coming year.

On December 31, 2018, more than 8 million Americans collecting SSI will see an increase in their monthly payments, according to an SSA press release. On January 1st, over 62 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their increase go into effect. Along with the 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will rise to $132,900 from $128,400. The COLA adjustment is based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2017 through the third quarter of 2018 

While a 2.8 percent increase may not seem like much, the rise in the maximum taxable earnings will significantly affect individuals whose earnings in previous years were on the cusp of the threshold. It is worth keeping in mind that one dollar in benefits is withheld from a beneficiary for every $2 in earnings above the limit.

2019 Social Security Changes

The COLA adjustment will impact people receiving benefits in different ways, especially those who are on Medicare. The SSA points out that is impossible to calculate the new benefit for those who receive Social Security or SSI and Medicare until premium amounts for 2019 are announced sometime next year.

Please take a moment to watch a short video about the increase:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Please click here to gain a better understanding of how COLA is calculated or click here for a breakdown on the Social Security changes coming in 2019. Information about Medicare changes for 2019 can be found here, when available.

SSI and SSDI Attorney

If your application for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance was denied, please contact The Driscoll Law Corporation. Serving Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego County, attorney Driscoll can provide you with strong representation to help achieve a successful claim. We can also help people, who are applying for the first time, navigate the process.