COLA announced. 1.6% increase in Social Security checks for 2020

Today, the Social Security Administration announced a modest 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2020. 

The 1.6% increase for 2020 follows a 2.8% increase for 2019 and a 2% increase for 2018.

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 2019 was $1,460 a month.  Next year's increase will raise the average payment by $23.40. 

Premiums for Medicare Part B are automatically deducted from the checks of many Social Security recipients.  Medicare premiums are expected to rise $8.80 a month.  This will offset the increase which is meant to offset consumer price increases and doesn't take health care into account.Social Security COLA Increase Announced for 2020

Some are proposing that Social Security begin using a price index for the elderly, called CPI-E, that would take into account items such as health care costs, which have increased at a greater rate than inflation overall.  But so far, no action has been taken on this proposal.

Increases will go into effect on the first check in January of 2020.

Social Security COLA Increases by Year (2003-2020)

Historical Social Security COLA increases 2003-2020

2003 COLA 1.4%
2004 COLA 2.1%
2005 COLA 2.7%
2006 COLA 4.1%
2007 COLA 3.3%
2008 COLA 2.3%
2009 COLA 5.8%
2010 COLA 0.0%
2011 COLA 0.0%
2012 COLA 3.6%
2013 COLA 1.7%
2014 COLA 1.5%
2015 COLA 1.7%
2016 COLA 0.0%
2017 COLA 0.3%
2018 COLA 2.0%
2019 COLA 2.8%
2020 COLA 1.6%


Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Nationally recognized lawyer and author dedicated to fighting life's legal battles with compassion and care
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