Social Security Announces 2.1 Percent Benefit
Increase for 2004
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for
more than 51 million Americans will increase 2.1 percent in 2004, 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 2.1 percent.
The 2.1 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits
that 47 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2004.
Increased payments to 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 $87,900 from $87,000 in 2003. Of the estimated 156
million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2004, about 9.2
million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable
maximum in 2004.
Information about Medicare changes for 2004 can be found at www.hhs.gov
– The Internet site for the Department of Health and Human Services.
More detailed information about these automatic adjustments can be found
on the Office of the Chief Actuary's website.
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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: A fact
sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments is
Note: Copies of most SSA press
releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security Online,
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