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Cost-of-Living Adjustments
COLA Home This is an archival or historical document that may not reflect current policies or procedures.
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2009 SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES

(October 2008)
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA):

Based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2007 through the third quarter of 2008, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 5.8 percent COLA for 2009.  Other important 2009 Social Security information is as follows:

Tax Rate 2008 2009
Employee
 7.65%
 7.65%
Self-Employed
15.30%
15.30%
NOTE: The 7.65% tax rate is the combined rate for Social Security and Medicare. The Social Security portion (OASDI) is 6.20% on earnings up to the applicable taxable maximum amount (see below). The Medicare portion (HI) is 1.45% on all earnings.

Maximum Taxable Earnings: 2008 2009
Social Security (OASDI only)
$102,000
$106,800
Medicare (HI only)
No Limit

Quarter of Coverage: 2008 2009
Earnings needed to earn one Social Security credit
$1,050
$1,090

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts: 2008 2009
Under full retirement age
NOTE: One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.
$13,560/yr.
($1,130/mo.)
$14,160/yr.
($1,180/mo.)
The year an individual reaches full retirement age
NOTE: Applies only to earnings for months prior to attaining full retirement age. One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the limit.
$36,120/yr.
($3,010/mo.)
$37,680/yr.
($3,140/mo.)
There is no limit on earnings beginning the month an individual attains full retirement age.

Social Security Disability Thresholds: 2008 2009
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
Non-Blind
$  940/mo.
$  980/mo.
Blind
$1,570/mo.
$1,640/mo.
$  670/mo.
$  700/mo.

Maximum Social Security Benefit:
Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age:
2008
 
2009
 
 
$2,185/mo.
$2,323/mo.

SSI Federal Payment Standard: 2008 2009
Individual
$ 637/mo.
$ 674/mo.
Couple
$ 956/mo.
$1,011/mo.

SSI Resources Limits: 2008 2009
Individual
$2,000
$2,000
Couple
$3,000
$3,000

SSI Student Exclusion: 2008 2009
Monthly Limit
$1,550
$1,640
Annual Limit
$6,240
$6,600

Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in January 2009: Before
5.8% COLA
After
5.8% COLA
All Retired Workers
$1,090
$1,153
Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits
$1,773
$1,876
Widowed Mother and Two Children
$2,268
$2,399
Aged Widow(er) Alone
$1,051
$1,112
Disabled Worker, Spouse and One or More Children
$1,695
$1,793
All Disabled Workers
$1,006
$1,064
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