Last week the Social Security Administration made an important announcement that will impact many residents of the Inland Empire. Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6 percent in 2012.
The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011.
For Social Security beneficiaries, the estimated average monthly benefit amount for all retired workers will rise from $1,186 to $1229. The maximum Federal SSI monthly payment to an individual will rise from $674 to $698. For a couple, the maximum Federal SSI payment will rise from $1,011 to $1,048. The Social Security contribution and benefit base will also increase from $106,800 to $110,100 as a result of increase in national average wages.
In addition, information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. The Social Security Act provides for how COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
I believe it's important to protect our seniors after their years of dedicated service to our nation, and that includes protecting essential programs like Social Security. Rest assured, I will continue to work in the best interest of seniors and maintain these vital programs.
JOE BACA, Congressman
43rd Congressional District