Cost-of-living adjustments are aimed at ensuring that benefits keep up with inflation.
The adjustments are calculated each year using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W.
That index is based on the buying habits, including goods and services, of workers who are under 62 years old.
The cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 could still change, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League.
“There is a chance it could be slightly lower than 2.8 [percent] and that’s complicated by hurricanes,” Johnson said.
That’s because the 12-month average inflation rate has recently been in a downward trend, she said. But hurricanes tend to drive up costs, and therefore the cost-of-living adjustment. Those two forces will likely cancel each other out, Johnson said, making a 2.8 percent increase “probable,” according to today’s outlook.