Social Security COLA for 2020 to Increase 1.6%

The Social Security Administration just announced the Cost-of-Living (COLA) adjustment for 2020. Recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits  will receive an increase of 1.6 percent in their benefit amount for 2020. Below is a list of the top highlights of the automatic COLA increase and information about when you can anticipate the benefit increase to start.


  • Social Security beneficiaries will begin seeing their increase beginning in January 2020.
  • Social Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will begin seeing the increase on December 31, 2019.
  • The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $137,700.
  • The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $18,240. (The Social Security Administration deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,240.)
  • The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2020 will increase to $48,600. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $48,600 until the month the worker turns age 66.)
  • There is no limit on earnings for workers who are “full” retirement age or older for the entire year.


Your COLA Notice

In December 2019, Social Security COLA notices will be available online to most beneficiaries in the Message Center of their my Social Security. If you do not have online access to Social Security Administration correspondence, you will receive your COLA notice in the mail.


What is the Automatic COLA Adjustment?

Congress enacted the COLA provision as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments, and automatic annual COLAs began in 1975. Before that, benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation. Beginning in 1975, Social Security started automatic annual cost-of-living allowances. The change was enacted by legislation that ties COLAs to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The CPI-W is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor. By law, it is the official measure used by the Social Security Administration to calculate COLAs.


Beware of Fake Telephone Calls from Social Security

The Social Security Administration does not call people. If you receive a telephone call  or robocall from someone claiming to be from the government, it will be someone trying to steal your personal information. Even if your caller-ID shows the call is coming from the Social Security Administration (SSA) be mindful that it may be a scam. Do not provide personal information. The SSA will never call and ask for your Social Security number. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to threaten your benefits.

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