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2019 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Announced

In a press release issued on October 11, SSA announced a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019. According to a fact sheet about the changes, the COLA means that the average Title II disability benefit will be increased by $34 per month, from $1,200 to $1,234. For SSI recipients, the federal SSI maximum of $750 per month for individuals and $1,125 per month for couples will increase to $771 per month and $1,157 per month, respectively.

Another important change occurring in January 2019 is the increased substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold: from $1,180 per month for the non-blind to $1,220 per month and from $1,970 per month for the blind to $2,040 per month. The Trial Work Period (TWP) threshold will increase from $850 per month to $880 per month.

The increase in average wages will cause the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax to increase from $128,700 to $132,900. The most an employee could pay in Social Security taxes in 2019 is $8,239.80.

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