The average monthly Social Security check will increase from $1,055.00 to $1,079.00. For a married couple who both receive benefit checks the average total will increase from $1,722.00 to $1,761.00.
Social Security and SSI 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.
The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $96.40 in 2008, an increase of $2.90, or 3.1 percent, from the $93.50 Part B premium for 2007. The 2008 amount is the smallest percentage increase in the Part B premium since 2001 and is $2.10 less than the increase in the premium for 2007. Thankfully the increase in Medicare premiums will not wipe out the increase in benefits..
The income-based Medicare Part B monthly premiums for 2008 are:
The income base used to determine these premiums is one’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) plus any tax-exempt municipal bond interest income (reported on Line 8b of the Form 1040).
The earnings limitations for 2008 are:
1) Under Full Retirement Age - $13,560.00 per year or $1,130.00 per month ($1.00 in benefits lost for every $2.00 in earnings above the limit).
2) The Year You Reach Full Retirement Age - $36,120.00 per year or $3,010.00 per month (applies only to earnings for months prior to reaching full retirement age - no limit on earnings beginning the month you reach full retirement age; $1.00 in benefits lost for every $3.00 in earnings above the limit).
There is no limit on earnings beginning the month an individual reaches full retirement age.