On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Social Security Administration announced a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019. This is the highest increase since 2012.
The 2.8% increase for 2019 follows a 2% increase for 2018, and a .3% increase for 2017. There was no COLA adjustment in 2016.
The yearly COLA amount is based on increases in the Consumer Price Index which measures the cost of inflation for goods, but not health care. Most people receiving Social Security are retired or disabled. For most, health care is their biggest expense, and it is one of the fastest rising costs in America. The average Social Security check in 2018 was $1,422 a month. Next year's increase will raise the average payment by $39. For most beneficiaries, this year's increase will not be wiped out by an increase in Medicare premiums as it was last year.
Increases will go into effect on the first check in January of 2019.