October 16, 2008

Social Security Checks to Rise 5.8 Percent

Social Security recipients will see a 5.8 percent jump in their monthly benefits beginning in January, the U.S. Social Security Administration said Thursday.

The cost-of-living increase for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income is the largest hike since 1982, the administration said in a release.

Social Security and SSI benefits increase automatically each year based on the third-quarter, year-over-year increase of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the administration said.

More than 55 million Americans receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Based on the increase, the administration said the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase from $102,000 to $106,800. Of the estimated 164 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2009, about 11 million will pay higher taxes because of the benefits increase.