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Social Security benefits to get 2.8 percent boost in 2019

Social Security benefits to get 2.8 percent boost in 2019
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The Social Security Administration on Thursday announced a 2.8-percent increase for Americans' Social Security benefits in 2019, the largest increase since 2012.

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will impact more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries and more than 8 million beneficiaries of supplemental security income, which helps elderly and disabled people, SSA said.

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The size of COLAs is linked to the consumer price index, a measure of inflation. The COLA was last larger than 2.8 percent in 2012, when it was 3.6 percent. For 2018, the Social Security COLA was 2 percent.  

The Social Security Administration also said that the maximum amount of income subject to Social Security taxes in 2019 will be $132,900, up from $128,400.

Many Democrats have been calling for an expansion of Social Security, with a group of more than 150 Democratic lawmakers forming a caucus on the topic last month. A number of Democratic lawmakers praised the COLA increase but also said an expansion of the program is needed given the rising costs of seniors' expenses.

“Today’s announcement of a 2.8 percent Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is good news for seniors, people with disabilities, and other beneficiaries who depend on Social Security," said Rep. John Larson John Barry LarsonSocial Security benefits to get 2.8 percent boost in 2019 Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Ryan, lawmakers call on Catholic Church leaders to come clean MORE (D-Conn.), the ranking member on a House subcommittee on Social Security.

"However, more must be done since for two-thirds of retirees, Social Security is the majority of their income. These are already modest benefits; especially for low-wage earners, women, and especially women of color."