Americans who receive Social Security benefits will soon get a bump in their monthly budgets.
January 1 will bring a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase that's the biggest since 2012.
The 2019 COLA will add an extra $39 to the average monthly benefit of $1422.
By law, such increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index -- the government's measure of prices for consumer goods and services.
As the index rises, benefits try to keep pace.
The Social Security Administration started mailing notices on December 3 that outline the adjustment. Most people who receive Social Security benefits will also be able to review that information online, for the first time, through their "my Social Security" account.
It is important information for the tens of millions who depend on the assistance.
"All they have is their Social Security check," says benefits advocate Toni King, "Getting a 2.8 percent increase is good for them. That means they can spend a little extra money at the grocery store."
Along with Social Security benefits, next year's Medicare Part-B coverage will rise a modest $1.50 a month.
But every dollar counts. Forbes Magazine reports 10,000 people are enrolling in Medicare each day, and the vast majority of them rely solely on Social Security for their income.