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Social Security Benefits Increase in 2020

November 25, 2019

By Lisa Wallace
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Charlotte NC
Each year, we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). By law, federal benefits
increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price
Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Usually, there is an increase in
the benefit amount people will receive each month, starting the following January.
Nearly 69 million Americans will see a 1.6 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and
SSI payments in 2020.
Other changes that will happen in January 2020 reflect the increase in the national average wage
index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax will
increase to $137,700 from $132,900. The earnings limit for workers who are younger than "full"
retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $18,240. (We
deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,240.)
The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2020 will increase to $48,600. (We deduct $1 from
benefits for each $3 earned over $48,600 until the month the worker turns age 66.)
In December 2019, we will post Social Security COLA notices online for retirement, survivors,
and disability beneficiaries who have a my Social Security account. You will be able to view
and save future COLA notices via the Message Center inside my Social Security.
You can log in to or sign up for a my Social Security account today at to get more information about your new benefit amount.
You can choose to receive an electronic notification by email, text, or both ways under “Message
Center Preferences.” Our notification will let you know that a new message is waiting for you.
We will not send any personal information in the notification. The Message Center also allows
you to go paperless by opting out of receiving agency notices by mail that you can get online,
including annual cost-of-living adjustments and the income-related monthly adjustment amount
increases. The Message Center is a secure portal where you can conveniently receive sensitive
communications that we don’t send through email or text.
More information about the 2020 COLA is available at
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Lisa Wallace, PAS Charlotte NC
Lisa Wallace
(704) 756-4869