- Benefit Increase. Monthly benefit checks have been increased for 2019 by a cost of living adjustment. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Due to these increases, the average monthly retirement check will have been increased $39 from the 2018 level. The maximum Social Security check for a worker retiring at 66 next year will be $2,861 which is up from $2,788 in 2018. This is not the minimum or maximum Social Security payment anyone can receive. If you delay Social Security past your full retirement age, your benefit may be higher. Likewise, if you did not earn the maximum base salary, or if you began Social Security payments before your full retirement age, you may receive less.
- Earnings Limit Increase. The earnings limit on Social Security has been increased. If you are between 62 and full retirement age, and working while receiving Social Security benefits, you may now earn up to $17,640 before the deduction of $1 for every $2 you earn. In the year you turn your full retirement age, the earnings limit will be $49,920 before the Social Security deduction of $1 for every $3 you earn until the month that you reach full retirement age.
- Tax Cap Grows. Taxes on worker’s wages are what finances Social Security benefits. Workers pay 6.2% of their earnings to fund the benefits (employers pay the same 6.2%). Next year, the earnings subject to Social Security tax will be increased from $128,400 to $132,900.
- Work Credit Earnings Increase. The earnings required by Social Security for one work credit (three months of Social Security benefits) increased from $1,320 to $1,360 for 2019. Earnings Credits are how the Social Security Administration determines whether you qualify for benefits. You can earn up to 4 credits a year if you earn at least $5,440. In most cases you need a minimum of 40 credits to qualify for Social Security Benefits.
- Supplemental Security Income Increase. Beneficiaries receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) saw an increase in the monthly payments. SSI is a federal program that aids the aged, blind and others with disabilities, and who have little or no income. SSI provides them funds for food, clothing, and shelter. The individual amount has grown $21 dollars a month, from $750 to $771. For couples, the amount has increased $32 a month, from $1,125 to $1,157.
To understand your benefits, you can create a My Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
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