SSA Pays 2.8 Percent COLA for 2019

Empire Justice Center October 31, 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, another welcome change from smaller cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in recent years.


The monthly SSI federal benefit rate for an individual will go up $21 to $771; the monthly rate for a couple goes up $32 to $1,157.  The New York State Supplement will continue at $87 for individuals and $104 for couples living alone; the living with others supplements remain at $23 and $46, respectively.  We will post the 2019 New York State SSI benefit chart when it is available.


With this COLA, other of SSA’s benchmarks also saw some increases. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold for Non-Blind has increased to $1,220 per month.  The SGA level for blind workers went to $2,040.  The Trial Work Period (TWP) threshold increased to $880 per month (from $850).  The quarter of coverage amount has increased to $1,360.  The maximum taxable earnings for OASDI (old-age, survivors and disability insurance) purposes will go to $132,900 in 2019.


Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set the following year’s Part B premium.  In 2019, the Part B base premium will be $135.50.  Most people will pay this amount.  A small number of people pay a premium that is lower than the base premium.  These people are protected by the hold harmless rule, explained in a good CMS publication. https://www.medicareinteractive.org/get-answers/medicare-health-coverage-options/original-medicare-costs/increases-in-part-b-premiums-and-the-hold-harmless-provision


Some higher earning beneficiaries will have higher premium rates.  Specific information about 2019 Medicare changes will be available at www.medicare.gov.


For SSA’s Fact Sheet on 2019 Social Security Changes, see  https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2019.pdf