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
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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: A fact
sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments
is attached. More detailed information about these automatic adjustments
can be found on the Office of the Chief Actuary's
Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security
information and statistics,
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security
Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSAs
free electronic newsletter, Social Security eNews.
SSA Press Office 449
Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973