Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013

A Notice by the Social Security Administration on 10/30/2012

Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2012. As a result of this increase, the following items will increase for 2013:

(1) The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts for 2013 under title XVI of the Act will be $710 for an eligible individual, $1,066 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $356 for an essential person;

(2) The special benefit amount under title VIII of the Act for certain World War II veterans will be $532.50 for 2013;

(3) The student earned income exclusion under title XVI of the Act will be $1,730 per month in 2013, but not more than $6,960 for all of 2013;

(4) The dollar fee limit for services performed as a representative payee will be $39 per month ($76 per month in the case of a beneficiary who is disabled and has an alcoholism or drug addiction condition that leaves him or her incapable of managing benefits) in 2013; and

(5) The dollar limit on the administrative cost assessment charged to attorneys representing claimants will be $88 in 2013.

The national average wage index for 2011 is $42,979.61. This index affects the following amounts:

(1) The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) contribution and benefit base will be $113,700 for remuneration paid in 2013 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2013;

(2) The monthly exempt amounts under the OASDI retirement earnings test for taxable years ending in calendar year 2013 will be $1,260 for years prior to the year in which a person attains his or her Normal Retirement Age (NRA; defined later in this Notice) and $3,340 for the year in which a person attains his or her NRA;

(3) The dollar amounts (“bend points;” defined later in this Notice) used in the primary insurance amount (PIA) benefit formula for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2013 will be $791 and $4,768;

(4) The bend points used in the formula for computing maximum family benefits for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2013 will be $1,011, $1,459, and $1,903;

(5) The amount of taxable earnings a person must have to be credited with a quarter of coverage in 2013 will be $1,160;

(6) The “old-law” contribution and benefit base under title II of the Act will be $84,300 for 2013;

(7) The monthly amount deemed to constitute substantial gainful activity for statutorily blind individuals in 2013 will be $1,740, and the corresponding amount for non-blind disabled persons will be $1,040;

(8) The earnings threshold establishing a month as a part of a trial work period will be $750 for 2013; and

(9) Coverage thresholds for 2013 will be $1,800 for domestic workers and $1,600 for election officials and election workers.

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