Question: I started collecting Social Security this year. When do they announce the yearly increases?
Answer: It is that time of year when lots of new information is announced and we are always excited to hear what is happening to our benefits!
Social Security just announced their 2020 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on 10/10/2019. That is earlier than they have done in other years! This year the COLA increase is 1.6%. That means your Social Security Benefit (gross amount) will go up by 1.6%.
How much your increase is in actual dollars is different depending on what you receive as a Gross Social Security Benefit. If your Gross Social Security benefit is $1500 per month that is a $24 increase. If your Social Security benefit is $2500 per month that is a $40 increase.
When reviewing the SSA.gov press release it states that the average Social Security Benefit will go up by $32 per month. But as I illustrated in the previous math examples, your amount will most likely be different than $32.
In reviewing the COLA increases over the last 45 years, the average COLA is 3.56%. Now that is higher than the current increase, but many years ago (70’s & early 80’s) the COLA’s were significantly larger increases when compared to the most recent 20 years. This 1.6% increase is right in line with the average increase over the last 20 years.
This COLA increase will most definitely cover the increase premium we will be seeing in your Medicare Part B premium, but that Medicare Part B premium has not yet been announced.
You should be hearing from Social Security in the coming weeks, probably November, as to what your actual Social Security 2020 monthly benefit will be. They send everyone a letter in the mail to review this information.
You also can use the SSA.gov website to log in and review this information sooner online. If you do not have a myssa.gov website login it is relatively easy to create and then you will have access to your information anytime you wish. If you are uncomfortable using computers and don’t want to do that, you will be receiving the information relatively soon in the mail.
Since this is your first year collecting Social Security all this is new to you! Now that you have begun collecting SS benefits, you will get used to the timelines that go along with those benefits.
It is also my hope that you have health insurance (Medicare) and that you are watching those changes to your coverage. The opportunity to change that Medicare Insurance Coverage is October 15 to December 7 each year. So don’t forget to think about those decisions for 2020!
To contact Janell Sluga, GCMC with questions or concerns, please call 716-720-9797 or e-mail her at email@example.com.