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Social Security Benefits to Rise 2.7 Percent

  • October 28th, 2004

The nation's more than 47 million Social Security recipients will get a 2.7 percent cost of living increase in payments in 2005. This is expected to raise the monthly payment for the typical beneficiary by $25. But nearly half of the increase will be offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums.

The average monthly Social Security payment in 2005 will rise from $930 to $955 a month for an individual and from $1,532 to $1,574 for a couple. But most seniors will also be paying an extra $11.60 a month in their Medicare Part B premium starting in January, the highest dollar increase in Medicare's history. Most elderly and disabled people have their Medicare Part B premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security checks. This is the third consecutive year in which rising Medicare premiums have combined with small Social Security increases to leave seniors with little additional monthly income.

The Social Security cost of living adjustment also raises the maximum amount of earnings subject to taxation to $90,000, as well as the benefit-reduction thresholds for those who retire early. The Normal Retirement Age (NRA) for those born in 1940 is age 65 and six months. Those who choose to begin receiving Social Security benefits before their NRA may have their benefits reduced, depending on how much other income they earn. Those early beneficiaries whose NRA is after 2005 may now earn $12,000 a year before Social Security payments are reduced by $1 for every $2 earned above the limit. Those early beneficiaries who attain their NRA in 2005 will have their benefits reduced $1 for every $3 earned if their income exceeds $31,800 in the months prior to the month they reach their NRA.

For 2005, the monthly federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment standard for an individual will be $579, and $869 for a couple.

For a complete list of the 2005 Social Security changes, go to: http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/colafacts2005-alt.htm

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA

John Laster

Law Offices of John L. Laster
Falls Church, VA

Daniel Steven

Daniel N. Steven, LLC
Rockville, MD

Jean Ball

Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Fairfax, VA


Last Modified: 10/28/2004

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