by: Cherryl Kjos
Winona Social Security District Manager
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 54 million Americans will increase 2.3 percent in 2008, the Social Security Administration announced today.
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits increase automatically each year based on the rise in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), from the third quarter of the prior year to the corresponding period of the current year. This year's increase in the CPI-W was 2.3 percent.
The 2.3 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 50 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2008. Increased payments to more than 7 million Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will begin on December 31.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $102,000 from $97,500. Of the estimated 164 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2008, nearly 12 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.
The 2008 monthly base Medicare premium for Part B was increased to $96.40 effective January 2008. Information about all of the Medicare premium changes for 2008 can be found at www.cms.hhs.gov.
Supplemental Security Income benefits were increased from 623.00 to 637.00 for individuals and from 934.00 to 956.00 for eligible couples.
Cost of living notices will be mailed to all eligible beneficiaries no later than December 28, 2007.