2019 Social Security changesAccording to the Social Security Administration, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. The Social Security Act ties the annual cost-of-living adjustment to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, this is the biggest increase in seven years.

Also changed is the maximum taxable amount subject to S.S. tax. This number will increase to $132,900 from $128,400. The SSA bases this change on the increase in average wages. This change, as usual, affects only the S.S. portion of the tax. The Medicare portion continues to have no upper limit.

The tax rate itself is unchanged: 7.65 percent each for employees and employers and 15.30 percent for self-employed.

There are other changes as well, such as disability thresholds. These are available in an SSA Fact Sheet.

The SSA notes that Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amounts. This year, for the first time, most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their My Social Security account. People may create or access their My Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amounts until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and the My Social Security Message Center.

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