Office of the Commissioner; Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2008, 60703-60709 [E7-21070]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices Registration SBA respectfully requests that any elected or appointed representative of the tribal communities or principal of a tribally-owned or ANC-owned 8(a) firm that is interested in attending please pre-register in advance and indicate whether you would like to testify at the hearing. Registration requests should be received by SBA at least 5 business days prior to the tribal consultation meeting date. Please contact Ms. Delcine Montgomery of SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs in writing at Delcine.Montgomery@SBA.gov or by facsimile to 202/481–1597. If you are interested in testifying please include the following information relating to the person testifying: Name, Organization affiliation, Address, Telephone number, E-mail address and Fax number. SBA will attempt to accommodate all interested parties that wish to present testimony. Based on the number of registrants it may be necessary to impose time limits to ensure that everyone who wishes to testify has the opportunity to do so. SBA will confirm in writing the registration of presenters and attendees. (Authority: 15 U.S.C. 634) Stephen D. Kong, Deputy General Counsel. [FR Doc. E7–21049 Filed 10–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025–01–P SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Audit and Financial Management Advisory (AFMAC) Committee Meeting Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Appendix 2 of Title 5, United States Code, Public Law 92–463, notice is hereby given that the U.S. Small Business Administration, Audit and Financial Management Advisory AFMAC (Committee) will host a public meeting on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 1 p.m. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street, SW., Office of the Chief Financial Officer Conference Room, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20416. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the SBA’s FY 2007 Financial Statements, FY 2007 Financial and Information Systems Audits, Credit Subsidy Modeling, FMFIA Assurance and A–123 Internal Control Program Results, FY 2007 Financial Report, FY 2007 Agency Performance Report and Information Systems Controls. The AFMAC was established by the Administrator of the SBA to provide recommendation and advice regarding the Agency’s financial management, including the financial VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 reporting process, systems of internal controls, audit process and process for monitoring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Anyone wishing to attend must contact Jennifer Main in writing or by fax. Jennifer Main, Chief Financial Officer, 409 3rd Street, SW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, phone: (202) 205–6449, fax: (202) 205–6969, e-mail: Jennifer.Main@sba.gov. Matthew Teague, Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. E7–21043 Filed 10–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025–01–P SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA–2007–0081] Office of the Commissioner; Cost-ofLiving Increase and Other Determinations for 2008 Social Security Administration. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Commissioner has determined— (1) A 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (the Act), effective for December 2007; (2) An increase in the Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts under title XVI of the Act for 2008 to $637 for an eligible individual, $956 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $319 for an essential person; (3) The student earned income exclusion to be $1,550 per month in 2008 but not more than $6,240 in all of 2008; (4) The dollar fee limit for services performed as a representative payee to be $35 per month ($68 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 2008; (5) The dollar limit on the administrative-cost assessment charged to attorneys representing claimants to be $79 in 2008; (6) The national average wage index for 2006 to be $38,651.41; (7) The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) contribution and benefit base to be $102,000 for remuneration paid in 2008 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2008; (8) The monthly exempt amounts under the Social Security retirement earnings test for taxable years ending in calendar year 2008 to be $1,130 and $3,010; PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60703 (9) The dollar amounts (‘‘bend points’’) used in the primary insurance amount benefit formula for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2008 to be $711 and $4,288; (10) The dollar amounts (‘‘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 2008 to be $909, $1,312, and $1,711; (11) The amount of taxable earnings a person must have to be credited with a quarter of coverage in 2008 to be $1,050; (12) The ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base to be $75,900 for 2008; (13) The monthly amount deemed to constitute substantial gainful activity for statutorily blind individuals in 2008 to be $1,570, and the corresponding amount for non-blind disabled persons to be $940; (14) The earnings threshold establishing a month as a part of a trial work period to be $670 for 2008; and (15) Coverage thresholds for 2008 to be $1,600 for domestic workers and $1,400 for election workers. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey L. Kunkel, Office of the Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235, (410) 965–3013. Information relating to this announcement is available on our Internet site at http:// www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/ index.html. For information on eligibility or claiming benefits, call 1– 800–772–1213, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http:// www.socialsecurity.gov. In accordance with the Act, the Commissioner must publish within 45 days after the close of the third calendar quarter of 2007 the benefit increase percentage and the revised table of ‘‘special minimum’’ benefits (section 215(i)(2)(D)). Also, the Commissioner must publish on or before November 1 the national average wage index for 2006 (section 215(a)(1)(D)), the OASDI fund ratio for 2007 (section 215(i)(2)(C)(ii)), the OASDI contribution and benefit base for 2008 (section 230(a)), the amount of earnings required to be credited with a quarter of coverage in 2008 (section 213(d)(2)), the monthly exempt amounts under the Social Security retirement earnings test for 2008 (section 203(f)(8)(A)), the formula for computing a primary insurance amount for workers who first become eligible for benefits or die in 2008 (section 215(a)(1)(D)), and the formula SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 60704 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices for computing the maximum amount of benefits payable to the family of a worker who first becomes eligible for old-age benefits or dies in 2008 (section 203(a)(2)(C)). Cost-of-Living Increases General The next cost-of-living increase, or automatic benefit increase, is 2.3 percent for benefits under titles II and XVI of the Act. Under title II, OASDI benefits will increase by 2.3 percent for individuals eligible for December 2007 benefits, payable in January 2008. This increase is based on the authority contained in section 215(i) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)). Under title XVI, Federal SSI payment levels will also increase by 2.3 percent effective for payments made for the month of January 2008 but paid on December 31, 2007. This is based on the authority contained in section 1617 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1382f). mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Automatic Benefit Increase Computation Under section 215(i) of the Act, the third calendar quarter of 2007 is a costof-living computation quarter for all the purposes of the Act. The Commissioner is, therefore, required to increase benefits, effective for December 2007, for individuals entitled under section 227 or 228 of the Act, to increase primary insurance amounts of all other individuals entitled under title II of the Act, and to increase maximum benefits payable to a family. For December 2007, the benefit increase is the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers from the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2007. Section 215(i)(1) of the Act provides that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for a cost-of-living computation quarter shall be the arithmetic mean of this index for the 3 months in that quarter. In accordance with 20 CFR 404.275, we round the arithmetic mean, if necessary, to the nearest 0.001. The Department of Labor publishes CPIs to 3 decimal places. It published CPIs to 1 decimal place for months prior to January 2007. The CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for each month in the quarter ending September 30, 2006, is: For July 2006, 199.2; for August 2006, 199.6; and for September 2006, 198.4. The arithmetic mean for this calendar quarter is 199.067. The corresponding CPI for each month in the quarter ending September 30, 2007, is: for July 2007, 203.700; for August 2007, 203.199; and for September 2007, 203.889. The VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 arithmetic mean for this calendar quarter is 203.596. Thus, because the CPI for the calendar quarter ending September 30, 2007, exceeds that for the calendar quarter ending September 30, 2006 by 2.3 percent (rounded to the nearest 0.1), a cost-of-living benefit increase of 2.3 percent is effective for benefits under title II of the Act beginning December 2007. Section 215(i) also specifies that an automatic benefit increase under title II, effective for December of any year, will be limited to the increase in the national average wage index for the prior year if the ‘‘OASDI fund ratio’’ for that year is below 20.0 percent. The OASDI fund ratio for a year is the ratio of the combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds at the beginning of that year to the combined expenditures of these funds during that year. (The expenditures in the ratio’s denominator exclude transfer payments between the two trust funds, and reduce any transfers to the Railroad Retirement Account by any transfers from that account into either trust fund.) For 2007, the OASDI fund ratio is assets of $2,048,112 million divided by estimated expenditures of $593,483 million, or 345.1 percent. Because the 345.1percent OASDI fund ratio exceeds 20.0 percent, the automatic benefit increase for December 2007 is not limited. Title II Benefit Amounts In accordance with section 215(i) of the Act, in the case of workers and family members for whom eligibility for benefits (i.e., the worker’s attainment of age 62, or disability or death before age 62) occurred before 2008, benefits will increase by 2.3 percent beginning with benefits for December 2007 which are payable in January 2008. In the case of first eligibility after 2007, the 2.3 percent increase will not apply. For eligibility after 1978, benefits are generally determined using a benefit formula provided by the Social Security Amendments of 1977 (Pub. L. 95–216), as described later in this notice. For eligibility before 1979, we determine benefits by means of a benefit table. The table is available on the Internet at http:// www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/ ProgData/tableForm.html, or by writing to: Social Security Administration, Office of Public Inquiries, Windsor Park Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235. Section 215(i)(2)(D) of the Act requires that, when the Commissioner determines an automatic increase in Social Security benefits, the Commissioner will publish in the PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Federal Register a revision of the range of the primary insurance amounts and corresponding maximum family benefits based on the dollar amount and other provisions described in section 215(a)(1)(C)(i). We refer to these benefits as ‘‘special minimum’’ benefits. These benefits are payable to certain individuals with long periods of relatively low earnings. To qualify for such benefits, an individual must have at least 11 ‘‘years of coverage.’’ To earn a year of coverage for purposes of the special minimum benefit, a person must earn at least a certain proportion of the ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base (described later in this notice). For years before 1991, the proportion is 25 percent; for years after 1990, it is 15 percent. In accordance with section 215(a)(1)(C)(i), the table below shows the revised range of primary insurance amounts and corresponding maximum family benefit amounts after the 2.3 percent automatic benefit increase. SPECIAL MINIMUM PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNTS AND MAXIMUM FAMILY BENEFITS PAYABLE FOR DECEMBER 2007 Number of years of coverage 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... ...................... Primary insurance amount $34.90 71.00 107.40 143.30 179.10 215.40 251.60 287.70 323.70 359.90 396.20 432.00 468.70 504.70 540.70 577.40 613.00 649.20 685.30 721.40 Maximum family benefit $53.10 107.50 161.70 215.60 269.60 324.10 378.60 432.60 486.80 540.70 595.30 649.40 704.30 758.10 811.70 866.90 920.90 974.90 1,029.40 1,083.00 Title XVI Benefit Amounts In accordance with section 1617 of the Act, maximum SSI Federal benefit amounts for the aged, blind, and disabled will increase by 2.3 percent effective January 2008. For 2007, we derived the monthly benefit amounts for an eligible individual, an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and for an essential person—$623, $934, and $312, respectively—from corresponding yearly unrounded Federal SSI benefit amounts of $7,479.50, $11,217.99, and $3,748.32. For 2008, these yearly E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices unrounded amounts increase by 2.3 percent to $7,651.53, $11,476.00, and $3,834.53, respectively. Each of these resulting amounts must be rounded, when not a multiple of $12, to the next lower multiple of $12. Accordingly, the corresponding annual amounts, effective for 2008, are $7,644, $11,472, and $3,828. Dividing the yearly amounts by 12 gives the corresponding monthly amounts for 2008—$637, $956, and $319, respectively. In the case of an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, we equally divide the amount payable between the two spouses. Title VIII of the Act provides for special benefits to certain World War II veterans residing outside the United States. Section 805 provides that ‘‘[t]he benefit under this title payable to a qualified individual for any month shall be in an amount equal to 75 percent of the Federal benefit rate [the maximum amount for an eligible individual] under title XVI for the month, reduced by the amount of the qualified individual’s benefit income for the month.’’ Thus the monthly benefit for 2008 under this provision is 75 percent of $637, or $477.75. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Student Earned Income Exclusion A blind or disabled child, who is a student regularly attending school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training, can have limited earnings that are not counted against his or her SSI benefits. The maximum amount of such income that may be excluded in 2007 is $1,510 per month but not more than $6,100 in all of 2007. These amounts increase based on a formula set forth in regulation 20 CFR 416.1112. To compute each of the monthly and yearly maximum amounts for 2008, we increase the corresponding unrounded amount for 2007 by the latest cost-ofliving increase. If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. The unrounded monthly amount for 2007 is $1,513.29. We increase this amount by 2.3 percent to $1,548.10, which we then round to $1,550. Similarly, we increase the unrounded yearly amount for 2007, $6,100.08, by 2.3 percent to $6,240.38 and round this to $6,240. Thus the maximum amount of the income exclusion applicable to a student in 2008 is $1,550 per month but not more than $6,240 in all of 2008. Fee for Services Performed as a Representative Payee Sections 205(j)(4)(A)(i) and 1631(a)(2)(D)(i) of the Act permit a qualified organization to collect from an individual a monthly fee for expenses VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 incurred in providing services performed as such individual’s representative payee. Currently the fee is limited to the lesser of: (1) 10 percent of the monthly benefit involved; or (2) $34 per month ($66 per month in any case in which the individual is entitled to disability benefits and the Commissioner has determined that payment to the representative payee would serve the interest of the individual because the individual has an alcoholism or drug addiction condition and is incapable of managing such benefits). The dollar fee limits are subject to increase by the automatic cost-of-living increase, with the resulting amounts rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. Thus we increase the current amounts by 2.3 percent to $35 and $68 for 2008. Attorney Assessment Fee Under sections 206(d) and 1631(d) of the Act, whenever a fee for services is required to be paid to an attorney who has represented a claimant, the Commissioner must impose on the attorney an assessment to cover administrative costs. Such assessment shall be no more than 6.3 percent of the attorney’s fee or, if lower, a dollar amount that is subject to increase by the automatic cost-of-living increase. We derive the dollar limit for December 2007 by increasing the unrounded limit for December 2006, $77.47, by 2.3 percent, which gives $79.25. We then round $79.25 to the next lower multiple of $1. The dollar limit effective for December 2007 is thus $79. 60705 threshold be based on changes in the national average wage index. In addition to the amounts required by statute, two amounts increase automatically under regulatory requirements. The amounts are (1) the substantial gainful activity amount applicable to non-blind disabled persons, and (2) the monthly earnings threshold that establishes a month as part of a trial work period for disabled beneficiaries. Computation The determination of the national average wage index for calendar year 2006 is based on the 2005 national average wage index of $36,952.94 announced in the Federal Register on October 26, 2006 (71 FR 62636), along with the percentage increase in average wages from 2005 to 2006 measured by annual wage data tabulated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The wage data tabulated by SSA include contributions to deferred compensation plans, as required by section 209(k) of the Act. The average amounts of wages calculated directly from these data were $35,448.93 and $37,078.27 for 2005 and 2006, respectively. To determine the national average wage index for 2006 at a level that is consistent with the national average wage indexing series for 1951 through 1977 (published December 29, 1978, at 43 FR 61016), we multiply the 2005 national average wage index of $36,952.94 by the percentage increase in average wages from 2005 to 2006 (based on SSA-tabulated wage data) as follows, with the result rounded to the nearest cent. National Average Wage Index for 2006 Amount General Multiplying the national average wage index for 2005 ($36,952.94) by the ratio of the average wage for 2006 ($37,078.27) to that for 2005 ($35,448.93) produces the 2006 index, $38,651.41. The national average wage index for calendar year 2006 is about 4.60 percent greater than the 2005 index. Under various provisions of the Act, several amounts increase automatically with annual increases in the national average wage index. The amounts are: (1) The OASDI contribution and benefit base; (2) the exempt amounts under the retirement earnings test; (3) the dollar amounts, or ‘‘bend points,’’ in the primary insurance amount and maximum family benefit formulas; (4) the amount of earnings required for a worker to be credited with a quarter of coverage; (5) the ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base (as determined under section 230 of the Act as in effect before the 1977 amendments); (6) the substantial gainful activity amount applicable to statutorily blind individuals; and (7) the coverage threshold for election officials and election workers. Also, section 3121(x) of the Internal Revenue Code requires that the domestic employee coverage PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 OASDI Contribution and Benefit Base General The OASDI contribution and benefit base is $102,000 for remuneration paid in 2008 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2008. The OASDI contribution and benefit base serves two purposes: (a) It is the maximum annual amount of earnings on which OASDI taxes are paid. The OASDI tax rate for remuneration paid in 2008 is 6.2 percent for employees and employers, E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 60706 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices each. The OASDI tax rate for selfemployment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2008 is 12.4 percent. (The Hospital Insurance tax is due on remuneration, without limitation, paid in 2008, at the rate of 1.45 percent for employees and employers, each, and on self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2008, at the rate of 2.9 percent.) (b) It is the maximum annual amount of earnings used in determining a person’s OASDI benefits. Computation Section 230(b) of the Act provides the formula used to determine the OASDI contribution and benefit base. Under the formula, the base for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1994 base of $60,600 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1992; or (2) the current base ($97,500). If the resulting amount is not a multiple of $300, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $300. Amount Multiplying the 1994 OASDI contribution and benefit base amount ($60,600) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41 as determined above) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of $102,124.81. We round this amount to $102,000. Because $102,000 exceeds the current base amount of $97,500, the OASDI contribution and benefit base is $102,000 for 2008. Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES General We withhold Social Security benefits when a beneficiary under the normal retirement age (NRA) has earnings in excess of the applicable retirement earnings test exempt amount. (NRA is the age of initial benefit entitlement for which the benefit, before rounding, is equal to the worker’s primary insurance amount. The NRA is age 65 for those born before 1938, and it gradually increases to age 67.) A higher exempt amount applies in the year in which a person attains his/her NRA, but only with respect to earnings in months prior to such attainment, and a lower exempt amount applies at all other ages below NRA. Section 203(f)(8)(B) of the Act, as amended by section 102 of Public Law 104–121, provides formulas for determining the monthly exempt amounts. The corresponding annual exempt amounts are exactly 12 times the monthly amounts. For beneficiaries attaining NRA in the year, we withhold $1 in benefits for VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 every $3 of earnings in excess of the annual exempt amount for months prior to such attainment. For all other beneficiaries under NRA, we withhold $1 in benefits for every $2 of earnings in excess of the annual exempt amount. Computation Under the formula applicable to beneficiaries who are under NRA and who will not attain NRA in 2008, the lower monthly exempt amount for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1994 monthly exempt amount multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1992; or (2) the 2007 monthly exempt amount ($1,080). If the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10. Under the formula applicable to beneficiaries attaining NRA in 2008, the higher monthly exempt amount for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) the 2002 monthly exempt amount multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 2000; or (2) the 2007 monthly exempt amount ($2,870). If the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10. Lower Exempt Amount Multiplying the 1994 retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount of $670 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of $1,129.10. We round this to $1,130. Because $1,130 is larger than the corresponding current exempt amount of $1,080, the lower retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount is $1,130 for 2008. The corresponding lower annual exempt amount is $13,560 under the retirement earnings test. Higher Exempt Amount Multiplying the 2002 retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount of $2,500 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 2000 ($32,154.82) produces the amount of $3,005.10. We round this to $3,010. Because $3,010 is larger than the corresponding current exempt amount of $2,870, the higher retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount is $3,010 for 2008. The corresponding higher annual exempt amount is $36,120 under the retirement earnings test. Computing Benefits After 1978 General The Social Security Amendments of 1977 provided a method for computing benefits which generally applies when a worker first becomes eligible for benefits PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 after 1978. This method uses the worker’s ‘‘average indexed monthly earnings’’ to compute the primary insurance amount. We adjust the computation formula each year to reflect changes in general wage levels, as measured by the national average wage index. We also adjust, or ‘‘index,’’ a worker’s earnings to reflect the change in general wage levels that occurred during the worker’s years of employment. Such indexation ensures that a worker’s future benefit level will reflect the general rise in the standard of living that will occur during his or her working lifetime. To compute the average indexed monthly earnings, we first determine the required number of years of earnings. Then we select that number of years with the highest indexed earnings, add the indexed earnings, and divide the total amount by the total number of months in those years. We then round the resulting average amount down to the next lower dollar amount. The result is the average indexed monthly earnings. For example, to compute the average indexed monthly earnings for a worker attaining age 62, becoming disabled before age 62, or dying before attaining age 62, in 2008, we divide the national average wage index for 2006, $38,651.41, by the national average wage index for each year prior to 2006 in which the worker had earnings. Then we multiply the actual wages and selfemployment income, as defined in section 211(b) of the Act and credited for each year, by the corresponding ratio to obtain the worker’s indexed earnings for each year before 2006. We consider any earnings in 2006 or later at face value, without indexing. We then compute the average indexed monthly earnings for determining the worker’s primary insurance amount for 2008. Computing the Primary Insurance Amount The primary insurance amount is the sum of three separate percentages of portions of the average indexed monthly earnings. In 1979 (the first year the formula was in effect), these portions were the first $180, the amount between $180 and $1,085, and the amount over $1,085. We call the dollar amounts in the formula governing the portions of the average indexed monthly earnings the ‘‘bend points’’ of the formula. Thus, the bend points for 1979 were $180 and $1,085. To obtain the bend points for 2008, we multiply each of the 1979 bendpoint amounts by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that average for 1977. We then round E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices these results to the nearest dollar. Multiplying the 1979 amounts of $180 and $1,085 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1977 ($9,779.44) produces the amounts of $711.42 and $4,288.26. We round these to $711 and $4,288. Accordingly, the portions of the average indexed monthly earnings to be used in 2008 are the first $711, the amount between $711 and $4,288, and the amount over $4,288. Consequently, for individuals who first become eligible for old-age insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits in 2008, or who die in 2008 before becoming eligible for benefits, their primary insurance amount will be the sum of (a) 90 percent of the first $711 of their average indexed monthly earnings, plus (b) 32 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings over $711 and through $4,288, plus (c) 15 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings over $4,288. We round this amount to the next lower multiple of $0.10 if it is not already a multiple of $0.10. This formula and the rounding adjustment described above are contained in section 215(a) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 415(a)). Maximum Benefits Payable to a Family mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES General The 1977 amendments continued the long established policy of limiting the total monthly benefits that a worker’s family may receive based on his or her primary insurance amount. Those amendments also continued the then existing relationship between maximum family benefits and primary insurance amounts but did change the method of computing the maximum amount of benefits that may be paid to a worker’s family. The Social Security Disability Amendments of 1980 (Pub. L. 96–265) established a formula for computing the maximum benefits payable to the family of a disabled worker. This formula applies to the family benefits of workers who first become entitled to disability insurance benefits after June 30, 1980, and who first become eligible for these benefits after 1978. For disabled workers initially entitled to disability benefits before July 1980, or whose disability began before 1979, we compute the family maximum payable the same as the old-age and survivor family maximum. Computing the Old-Age and Survivor Family Maximum The formula used to compute the family maximum is similar to that used to compute the primary insurance VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 amount. It involves computing the sum of four separate percentages of portions of the worker’s primary insurance amount. In 1979, these portions were the first $230, the amount between $230 and $332, the amount between $332 and $433, and the amount over $433. We refer to such dollar amounts in the formula as the ‘‘bend points’’ of the family-maximum formula. To obtain the bend points for 2008, we multiply each of the 1979 bendpoint amounts by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that average for 1977. Then we round this amount to the nearest dollar. Multiplying the amounts of $230, $332, and $433 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1977 ($9,779.44) produces the amounts of $909.03, $1,312.17, and $1,711.35. We round these amounts to $909, $1,312, and $1,711. Accordingly, the portions of the primary insurance amounts to be used in 2008 are the first $909, the amount between $909 and $1,312, the amount between $1,312 and $1,711, and the amount over $1,711. Consequently, for the family of a worker who becomes age 62 or dies in 2008 before age 62, we will compute the total amount of benefits payable to them so that it does not exceed (a) 150 percent of the first $909 of the worker’s primary insurance amount, plus (b) 272 percent of the worker’s primary insurance amount over $909 through $1,312, plus (c) 134 percent of the worker’s primary insurance amount over $1,312 through $1,711, plus (d) 175 percent of the worker’s primary insurance amount over $1,711. We then round this amount to the next lower multiple of $0.10 if it is not already a multiple of $0.10. This formula and the rounding adjustment described above are contained in section 203(a) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 403(a)). Quarter of Coverage Amount General The amount of earnings required for a quarter of coverage in 2008 is $1,050. A quarter of coverage is the basic unit for determining whether a worker is insured under the Social Security program. For years before 1978, we generally credited an individual with a quarter of coverage for each quarter in which wages of $50 or more were paid, or with 4 quarters of coverage for every taxable year in which $400 or more of self-employment income was earned. Beginning in 1978, employers generally report wages on an annual basis instead PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60707 of a quarterly basis. With the change to annual reporting, section 352(b) of the Social Security Amendments of 1977 amended section 213(d) of the Act to provide that a quarter of coverage would be credited for each $250 of an individual’s total wages and selfemployment income for calendar year 1978, up to a maximum of 4 quarters of coverage for the year. Computation Under the prescribed formula, the quarter of coverage amount for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1978 amount of $250 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1976; or (2) the current amount of $1,000. Section 213(d) further provides that if the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10. Quarter of Coverage Amount Multiplying the 1978 quarter of coverage amount ($250) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1976 ($9,226.48) produces the amount of $1,047.30. We then round this amount to $1,050. Because $1,050 exceeds the current amount of $1,000, the quarter of coverage amount is $1,050 for 2008. ‘‘Old-Law’’ Contribution and Benefit Base General The ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base for 2008 is $75,900. This is the base that would have been effective under the Act without the enactment of the 1977 amendments. The ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base is used by: (a) The Railroad Retirement program to determine certain tax liabilities and tier II benefits payable under that program to supplement the tier I payments which correspond to basic Social Security benefits, (b) the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to determine the maximum amount of pension guaranteed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (as stated in section 230(d) of the Social Security Act), (c) Social Security to determine a year of coverage in computing the special minimum benefit, as described earlier, and (d) Social Security to determine a year of coverage (acquired whenever earnings equal or exceed 25 percent of the ‘‘old-law’’ base for this purpose only) in computing benefits for persons who are also eligible to receive pensions based on employment not covered under section 210 of the Act. E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 60708 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices Computation The ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base shall be the larger of: (1) The 1994 ‘‘old-law’’ base ($45,000) multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1992; or (2) the current ‘‘old-law’’ base ($72,600). If the resulting amount is not a multiple of $300, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $300. Amount Multiplying the 1994 ‘‘old-law’’ contribution and benefit base amount ($45,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of $75,835.26. We round this amount to $75,900. Because $75,900 exceeds the current amount of $72,600, the ‘‘oldlaw’’ contribution and benefit base is $75,900 for 2008. SGA Amount for Statutorily Blind Individuals current amount of $640, the monthly earnings threshold is $670 for 2008. Multiplying the 1994 monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals ($930) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of $1,567.26. We then round this amount to $1,570. Because $1,570 is larger than the current amount of $1,500, the monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals is $1,570 for 2008. Domestic Employee Coverage Threshold SGA Amount for Non-Blind Disabled Individuals Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts Multiplying the 2000 monthly SGA amount for non-blind individuals ($700) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1998 ($28,861.44) produces the amount of $937.44. We then round this amount to $940. Because $940 is larger than the current amount of $900, the monthly SGA amount for non-blind disabled individuals is $940 for 2008. General Trial Work Period Earnings Threshold A finding of disability under titles II and XVI of the Act requires that a person, except for a title XVI disabled child, be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA depends on the nature of a person’s disability. Section 223(d)(4)(A) of the Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals under title II while Federal regulations (20 CFR 404.1574 and 416.974) specify a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals. Both SGA amounts increase in accordance with increases in the national average wage index. General mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Computation The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals under title II for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) Such amount for 1994 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1992; or (2) such amount for 2007. The monthly SGA amount for non-blind disabled individuals for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) Such amount for 2000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1998; or (2) such amount for 2007. In either case, if the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 During a trial work period, a beneficiary receiving Social Security disability benefits may test his or her ability to work and still be considered disabled. We do not consider services performed during the trial work period as showing that the disability has ended until services have been performed in at least 9 months (not necessarily consecutive) in a rolling 60-month period. In 2007, any month in which earnings exceed $640 is considered a month of services for an individual’s trial work period. In 2008, this monthly amount increases to $670. Computation The method used to determine the new amount is set forth in our regulations at 20 CFR 404.1592(b). Monthly earnings in 2008, used to determine whether a month is part of a trial work period, is such amount for 2001 ($530) multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1999, or, if larger, such amount for 2007. If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. Amount Multiplying the 2001 monthly earnings threshold ($530) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1999 ($30,469.84) produces the amount of $672.31. We then round this amount to $670. Because $670 is larger than the PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 General The minimum amount a domestic worker must earn so that such earnings are covered under Social Security or Medicare is the domestic employee coverage threshold. For 2008, this threshold is $1,600. Section 3121(x) of the Internal Revenue Code provides the formula for increasing the threshold. Computation Under the formula, the domestic employee coverage threshold amount for 2008 shall be equal to the 1995 amount of $1,000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1993. If the resulting amount is not a multiple of $100, it shall be rounded to the next lower multiple of $100. Domestic Employee Coverage Threshold Amount Multiplying the 1995 domestic employee coverage threshold amount ($1,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1993 ($23,132.67) produces the amount of $1,670.86. We then round this amount to $1,600. Accordingly, the domestic employee coverage threshold amount is $1,600 for 2008. Election Worker Coverage Threshold General The minimum amount an election worker must earn so that such earnings are covered under Social Security or Medicare is the election worker coverage threshold. For 2008, this threshold is $1,400. Section 218(c)(8)(B) of the Act provides the formula for increasing the threshold. Computation Under the formula, the election worker coverage threshold amount for 2008 shall be equal to the 1999 amount of $1,000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1997. If the amount so determined is not a multiple of $100, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $100. Election Worker Coverage Threshold Amount Multiplying the 1999 election worker coverage threshold amount ($1,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1997 ($27,426.00) produces the amount E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 206 / Thursday, October 25, 2007 / Notices of $1,409.30. We then round this amount to $1,400. Accordingly, the election worker coverage threshold amount is $1,400 for 2008. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: Program Nos. 96.001 Social Security— Disability Insurance; 96.002 Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004 Social Security—Survivors Insurance; 96.006 Supplemental Security Income). Dated: October 19, 2007. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. [FR Doc. E7–21070 Filed 10–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA–2007–0083] Notice of Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Membership Social Security Administration. Title 5, U.S. Code 4314(c)(4), requires that the appointment of Performance Review Board members be published in the Federal Register before service on said Board begins. The following persons will serve on the Performance Review Board, which oversees the evaluation of performance appraisals of Senior Executive Service members of the Social Security Administration: JoEllen Felice*, Rogelio Gomez, Pete Herrera*, Lewis Kaiser*, Eileen McDaniel*, Marcia Mosley*, Gregory Pace, Ronald Raborg, Ramona Schuenemeyer*, Donna Siegel, Roy Snyder*, Tom Tobin, Tina Waddell*. *New Member. AGENCY: Dated: October 18, 2007. Reginald F. Wells, Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources. [FR Doc. E7–21066 Filed 10–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5974] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: DS 4053, Department of ´ ´ State Mentor-Protege Program Application, OMB 1405–0161 Notice of request for public comments. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES ACTION: 17:26 Oct 24, 2007 Jkt 214001 Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed information collection and supporting documents, to Patricia Culbreth, A/SDBU, Patricia Culbreth, SA–6, Room L–500, Washington, DC 20522–0602 who may be reached on 703–875–6881. E-mail: culbrethpb@state.gov. We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to: • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of our functions. • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment in the Federal Register preceding submission to OMB. VerDate Aug<31>2005 We are conducting this process in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Title of Information Collection: ´ ´ Department of State Mentor-Protege Program Application. OMB Control Number: OMB 1405– 0161. Type of Request: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection. Originating Office: Bureau of Administration, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization—A/ SDBU. Form Number: DS–4053. Respondents: Small and large forprofit companies planning to team ´ ´ together in an official mentor-protege capacity to improve the likelihood of winning DOS contracts. Estimated Number of Respondents: 14 respondents per year. Estimated Number of Responses: 14 per year. Average Hours Per Response: 21. Total Estimated Burden: 294. Frequency: On occasion. Obligation to Respond: Required to Obtain Benefit. DATES: The Department will accept comments from the public up to 60 days from October 25, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • E-mail: culbrethpb@state.gov. • Mail (paper, disk, or CD–ROM submissions): A/SDBU, Patricia Culbreth, SA–6, Room L–500, Washington, DC 20522–0602. • Fax: 703–875–6825. • Hand Delivery or Courier: 1701 North Ft. Myer Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22209. You must include the DS form number, information collection title, and OMB control number in any correspondence. PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60709 collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used. • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of technology. Abstract of proposed collection: This information collection facilitates ´ ´ continuation of a mentor-protege program that encourages business agreements between small and large forprofit companies planning to team ´ ´ together in an official mentor-protege capacity to improve the likelihood of winning DOS contracts. This program assists the State Department OSDBU office in reaching its small business goals. Methodology: Respondents may submit the information by e-mail using DS–4053, or by letter using fax or postal mail. Additional Information: None. Dated: October 10, 2007. Gregory N. Mayberry, Operations Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–21044 Filed 10–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–24–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Notice of Cessation of Printing and Hard Copy Distribution of Advisory Circulars Issued by the Aircraft Certification Service Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of cessation of printing and hard copy distribution of advisory circulars (AC) issued by the Aircraft Certification Service. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice announces the cessation of printing and distribution of advisory circulars issued by the Aircraft Certification Service. Technology currently allows advisory circulars to be posted to a public Web site, the Regulator and Guidance Library, http:// rgl.faa.gov/ for easy public access. Because of this easy public access, the Aircraft Certification Service determined that it is no longer necessary to print and distribute a hard copy of advisory circulars as it has done in the past. This will not only make it easier for the public to have access to advisory circulars issued by the Aircraft Certification Service almost E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 206 (Thursday, October 25, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60703-60709]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21070]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

[Docket No. SSA-2007-0081]


Office of the Commissioner; Cost-of-Living Increase and Other 
Determinations for 2008

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Commissioner has determined--
    (1) A 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security 
benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (the Act), effective 
for December 2007;
    (2) An increase in the Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
monthly benefit amounts under title XVI of the Act for 2008 to $637 for 
an eligible individual, $956 for an eligible individual with an 
eligible spouse, and $319 for an essential person;
    (3) The student earned income exclusion to be $1,550 per month in 
2008 but not more than $6,240 in all of 2008;
    (4) The dollar fee limit for services performed as a representative 
payee to be $35 per month ($68 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 2008;
    (5) The dollar limit on the administrative-cost assessment charged 
to attorneys representing claimants to be $79 in 2008;
    (6) The national average wage index for 2006 to be $38,651.41;
    (7) The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) 
contribution and benefit base to be $102,000 for remuneration paid in 
2008 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 
2008;
    (8) The monthly exempt amounts under the Social Security retirement 
earnings test for taxable years ending in calendar year 2008 to be 
$1,130 and $3,010;
    (9) The dollar amounts (``bend points'') used in the primary 
insurance amount benefit formula for workers who become eligible for 
benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2008 to be $711 and 
$4,288;
    (10) The dollar amounts (``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 2008 to be $909, 
$1,312, and $1,711;
    (11) The amount of taxable earnings a person must have to be 
credited with a quarter of coverage in 2008 to be $1,050;
    (12) The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base to be $75,900 
for 2008;
    (13) The monthly amount deemed to constitute substantial gainful 
activity for statutorily blind individuals in 2008 to be $1,570, and 
the corresponding amount for non-blind disabled persons to be $940;
    (14) The earnings threshold establishing a month as a part of a 
trial work period to be $670 for 2008; and
    (15) Coverage thresholds for 2008 to be $1,600 for domestic workers 
and $1,400 for election workers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey L. Kunkel, Office of the Chief 
Actuary, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, 
Baltimore, MD 21235, (410) 965-3013. Information relating to this 
announcement is available on our Internet site at http://
www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/index.html. For information on 
eligibility or claiming benefits, call 1-800-772-1213, or visit our 
Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://
www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Act, the Commissioner 
must publish within 45 days after the close of the third calendar 
quarter of 2007 the benefit increase percentage and the revised table 
of ``special minimum'' benefits (section 215(i)(2)(D)). Also, the 
Commissioner must publish on or before November 1 the national average 
wage index for 2006 (section 215(a)(1)(D)), the OASDI fund ratio for 
2007 (section 215(i)(2)(C)(ii)), the OASDI contribution and benefit 
base for 2008 (section 230(a)), the amount of earnings required to be 
credited with a quarter of coverage in 2008 (section 213(d)(2)), the 
monthly exempt amounts under the Social Security retirement earnings 
test for 2008 (section 203(f)(8)(A)), the formula for computing a 
primary insurance amount for workers who first become eligible for 
benefits or die in 2008 (section 215(a)(1)(D)), and the formula

[[Page 60704]]

for computing the maximum amount of benefits payable to the family of a 
worker who first becomes eligible for old-age benefits or dies in 2008 
(section 203(a)(2)(C)).

Cost-of-Living Increases

General

    The next cost-of-living increase, or automatic benefit increase, is 
2.3 percent for benefits under titles II and XVI of the Act. Under 
title II, OASDI benefits will increase by 2.3 percent for individuals 
eligible for December 2007 benefits, payable in January 2008. This 
increase is based on the authority contained in section 215(i) of the 
Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)).
    Under title XVI, Federal SSI payment levels will also increase by 
2.3 percent effective for payments made for the month of January 2008 
but paid on December 31, 2007. This is based on the authority contained 
in section 1617 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1382f).

Automatic Benefit Increase Computation

    Under section 215(i) of the Act, the third calendar quarter of 2007 
is a cost-of-living computation quarter for all the purposes of the 
Act. The Commissioner is, therefore, required to increase benefits, 
effective for December 2007, for individuals entitled under section 227 
or 228 of the Act, to increase primary insurance amounts of all other 
individuals entitled under title II of the Act, and to increase maximum 
benefits payable to a family. For December 2007, the benefit increase 
is the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage 
Earners and Clerical Workers from the third quarter of 2006 to the 
third quarter of 2007.
    Section 215(i)(1) of the Act provides that the Consumer Price Index 
(CPI) for a cost-of-living computation quarter shall be the arithmetic 
mean of this index for the 3 months in that quarter. In accordance with 
20 CFR 404.275, we round the arithmetic mean, if necessary, to the 
nearest 0.001.
    The Department of Labor publishes CPIs to 3 decimal places. It 
published CPIs to 1 decimal place for months prior to January 2007. The 
CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for each month in the 
quarter ending September 30, 2006, is: For July 2006, 199.2; for August 
2006, 199.6; and for September 2006, 198.4. The arithmetic mean for 
this calendar quarter is 199.067. The corresponding CPI for each month 
in the quarter ending September 30, 2007, is: for July 2007, 203.700; 
for August 2007, 203.199; and for September 2007, 203.889. The 
arithmetic mean for this calendar quarter is 203.596. Thus, because the 
CPI for the calendar quarter ending September 30, 2007, exceeds that 
for the calendar quarter ending September 30, 2006 by 2.3 percent 
(rounded to the nearest 0.1), a cost-of-living benefit increase of 2.3 
percent is effective for benefits under title II of the Act beginning 
December 2007.
    Section 215(i) also specifies that an automatic benefit increase 
under title II, effective for December of any year, will be limited to 
the increase in the national average wage index for the prior year if 
the ``OASDI fund ratio'' for that year is below 20.0 percent. The OASDI 
fund ratio for a year is the ratio of the combined assets of the Old-
Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds at the 
beginning of that year to the combined expenditures of these funds 
during that year. (The expenditures in the ratio's denominator exclude 
transfer payments between the two trust funds, and reduce any transfers 
to the Railroad Retirement Account by any transfers from that account 
into either trust fund.) For 2007, the OASDI fund ratio is assets of 
$2,048,112 million divided by estimated expenditures of $593,483 
million, or 345.1 percent. Because the 345.1-percent OASDI fund ratio 
exceeds 20.0 percent, the automatic benefit increase for December 2007 
is not limited.

Title II Benefit Amounts

    In accordance with section 215(i) of the Act, in the case of 
workers and family members for whom eligibility for benefits (i.e., the 
worker's attainment of age 62, or disability or death before age 62) 
occurred before 2008, benefits will increase by 2.3 percent beginning 
with benefits for December 2007 which are payable in January 2008. In 
the case of first eligibility after 2007, the 2.3 percent increase will 
not apply.
    For eligibility after 1978, benefits are generally determined using 
a benefit formula provided by the Social Security Amendments of 1977 
(Pub. L. 95-216), as described later in this notice.
    For eligibility before 1979, we determine benefits by means of a 
benefit table. The table is available on the Internet at http://
www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/ProgData/tableForm.html, or by writing to: 
Social Security Administration, Office of Public Inquiries, Windsor 
Park Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235.
    Section 215(i)(2)(D) of the Act requires that, when the 
Commissioner determines an automatic increase in Social Security 
benefits, the Commissioner will publish in the Federal Register a 
revision of the range of the primary insurance amounts and 
corresponding maximum family benefits based on the dollar amount and 
other provisions described in section 215(a)(1)(C)(i). We refer to 
these benefits as ``special minimum'' benefits. These benefits are 
payable to certain individuals with long periods of relatively low 
earnings. To qualify for such benefits, an individual must have at 
least 11 ``years of coverage.'' To earn a year of coverage for purposes 
of the special minimum benefit, a person must earn at least a certain 
proportion of the ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base (described 
later in this notice). For years before 1991, the proportion is 25 
percent; for years after 1990, it is 15 percent. In accordance with 
section 215(a)(1)(C)(i), the table below shows the revised range of 
primary insurance amounts and corresponding maximum family benefit 
amounts after the 2.3 percent automatic benefit increase.

  Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amounts and Maximum Family Benefits
                        Payable for December 2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Primary      Maximum
          Number of years of coverage            insurance      family
                                                   amount      benefit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
11............................................       $34.90       $53.10
12............................................        71.00       107.50
13............................................       107.40       161.70
14............................................       143.30       215.60
15............................................       179.10       269.60
16............................................       215.40       324.10
17............................................       251.60       378.60
18............................................       287.70       432.60
19............................................       323.70       486.80
20............................................       359.90       540.70
21............................................       396.20       595.30
22............................................       432.00       649.40
23............................................       468.70       704.30
24............................................       504.70       758.10
25............................................       540.70       811.70
26............................................       577.40       866.90
27............................................       613.00       920.90
28............................................       649.20       974.90
29............................................       685.30     1,029.40
30............................................       721.40     1,083.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title XVI Benefit Amounts

    In accordance with section 1617 of the Act, maximum SSI Federal 
benefit amounts for the aged, blind, and disabled will increase by 2.3 
percent effective January 2008. For 2007, we derived the monthly 
benefit amounts for an eligible individual, an eligible individual with 
an eligible spouse, and for an essential person--$623, $934, and $312, 
respectively--from corresponding yearly unrounded Federal SSI benefit 
amounts of $7,479.50, $11,217.99, and $3,748.32. For 2008, these yearly

[[Page 60705]]

unrounded amounts increase by 2.3 percent to $7,651.53, $11,476.00, and 
$3,834.53, respectively. Each of these resulting amounts must be 
rounded, when not a multiple of $12, to the next lower multiple of $12. 
Accordingly, the corresponding annual amounts, effective for 2008, are 
$7,644, $11,472, and $3,828. Dividing the yearly amounts by 12 gives 
the corresponding monthly amounts for 2008--$637, $956, and $319, 
respectively. In the case of an eligible individual with an eligible 
spouse, we equally divide the amount payable between the two spouses.
    Title VIII of the Act provides for special benefits to certain 
World War II veterans residing outside the United States. Section 805 
provides that ``[t]he benefit under this title payable to a qualified 
individual for any month shall be in an amount equal to 75 percent of 
the Federal benefit rate [the maximum amount for an eligible 
individual] under title XVI for the month, reduced by the amount of the 
qualified individual's benefit income for the month.'' Thus the monthly 
benefit for 2008 under this provision is 75 percent of $637, or 
$477.75.

Student Earned Income Exclusion

    A blind or disabled child, who is a student regularly attending 
school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical 
training, can have limited earnings that are not counted against his or 
her SSI benefits. The maximum amount of such income that may be 
excluded in 2007 is $1,510 per month but not more than $6,100 in all of 
2007. These amounts increase based on a formula set forth in regulation 
20 CFR 416.1112.
    To compute each of the monthly and yearly maximum amounts for 2008, 
we increase the corresponding unrounded amount for 2007 by the latest 
cost-of-living increase. If the amount so calculated is not a multiple 
of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. The unrounded 
monthly amount for 2007 is $1,513.29. We increase this amount by 2.3 
percent to $1,548.10, which we then round to $1,550. Similarly, we 
increase the unrounded yearly amount for 2007, $6,100.08, by 2.3 
percent to $6,240.38 and round this to $6,240. Thus the maximum amount 
of the income exclusion applicable to a student in 2008 is $1,550 per 
month but not more than $6,240 in all of 2008.

Fee for Services Performed as a Representative Payee

    Sections 205(j)(4)(A)(i) and 1631(a)(2)(D)(i) of the Act permit a 
qualified organization to collect from an individual a monthly fee for 
expenses incurred in providing services performed as such individual's 
representative payee. Currently the fee is limited to the lesser of: 
(1) 10 percent of the monthly benefit involved; or (2) $34 per month 
($66 per month in any case in which the individual is entitled to 
disability benefits and the Commissioner has determined that payment to 
the representative payee would serve the interest of the individual 
because the individual has an alcoholism or drug addiction condition 
and is incapable of managing such benefits). The dollar fee limits are 
subject to increase by the automatic cost-of-living increase, with the 
resulting amounts rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. Thus we 
increase the current amounts by 2.3 percent to $35 and $68 for 2008.

Attorney Assessment Fee

    Under sections 206(d) and 1631(d) of the Act, whenever a fee for 
services is required to be paid to an attorney who has represented a 
claimant, the Commissioner must impose on the attorney an assessment to 
cover administrative costs. Such assessment shall be no more than 6.3 
percent of the attorney's fee or, if lower, a dollar amount that is 
subject to increase by the automatic cost-of-living increase. We derive 
the dollar limit for December 2007 by increasing the unrounded limit 
for December 2006, $77.47, by 2.3 percent, which gives $79.25. We then 
round $79.25 to the next lower multiple of $1. The dollar limit 
effective for December 2007 is thus $79.

National Average Wage Index for 2006

General

    Under various provisions of the Act, several amounts increase 
automatically with annual increases in the national average wage index. 
The amounts are: (1) The OASDI contribution and benefit base; (2) the 
exempt amounts under the retirement earnings test; (3) the dollar 
amounts, or ``bend points,'' in the primary insurance amount and 
maximum family benefit formulas; (4) the amount of earnings required 
for a worker to be credited with a quarter of coverage; (5) the ``old-
law'' contribution and benefit base (as determined under section 230 of 
the Act as in effect before the 1977 amendments); (6) the substantial 
gainful activity amount applicable to statutorily blind individuals; 
and (7) the coverage threshold for election officials and election 
workers. Also, section 3121(x) of the Internal Revenue Code requires 
that the domestic employee coverage threshold be based on changes in 
the national average wage index.
    In addition to the amounts required by statute, two amounts 
increase automatically under regulatory requirements. The amounts are 
(1) the substantial gainful activity amount applicable to non-blind 
disabled persons, and (2) the monthly earnings threshold that 
establishes a month as part of a trial work period for disabled 
beneficiaries.

Computation

    The determination of the national average wage index for calendar 
year 2006 is based on the 2005 national average wage index of 
$36,952.94 announced in the Federal Register on October 26, 2006 (71 FR 
62636), along with the percentage increase in average wages from 2005 
to 2006 measured by annual wage data tabulated by the Social Security 
Administration (SSA). The wage data tabulated by SSA include 
contributions to deferred compensation plans, as required by section 
209(k) of the Act. The average amounts of wages calculated directly 
from these data were $35,448.93 and $37,078.27 for 2005 and 2006, 
respectively. To determine the national average wage index for 2006 at 
a level that is consistent with the national average wage indexing 
series for 1951 through 1977 (published December 29, 1978, at 43 FR 
61016), we multiply the 2005 national average wage index of $36,952.94 
by the percentage increase in average wages from 2005 to 2006 (based on 
SSA-tabulated wage data) as follows, with the result rounded to the 
nearest cent.

Amount

    Multiplying the national average wage index for 2005 ($36,952.94) 
by the ratio of the average wage for 2006 ($37,078.27) to that for 2005 
($35,448.93) produces the 2006 index, $38,651.41. The national average 
wage index for calendar year 2006 is about 4.60 percent greater than 
the 2005 index.

OASDI Contribution and Benefit Base

General

    The OASDI contribution and benefit base is $102,000 for 
remuneration paid in 2008 and self-employment income earned in taxable 
years beginning in 2008.
    The OASDI contribution and benefit base serves two purposes:
    (a) It is the maximum annual amount of earnings on which OASDI 
taxes are paid. The OASDI tax rate for remuneration paid in 2008 is 6.2 
percent for employees and employers,

[[Page 60706]]

each. The OASDI tax rate for self-employment income earned in taxable 
years beginning in 2008 is 12.4 percent. (The Hospital Insurance tax is 
due on remuneration, without limitation, paid in 2008, at the rate of 
1.45 percent for employees and employers, each, and on self-employment 
income earned in taxable years beginning in 2008, at the rate of 2.9 
percent.)
    (b) It is the maximum annual amount of earnings used in determining 
a person's OASDI benefits.

Computation

    Section 230(b) of the Act provides the formula used to determine 
the OASDI contribution and benefit base. Under the formula, the base 
for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1994 base of $60,600 
multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to 
that for 1992; or (2) the current base ($97,500). If the resulting 
amount is not a multiple of $300, it shall be rounded to the nearest 
multiple of $300.

Amount

    Multiplying the 1994 OASDI contribution and benefit base amount 
($60,600) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41 as determined above) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces 
the amount of $102,124.81. We round this amount to $102,000. Because 
$102,000 exceeds the current base amount of $97,500, the OASDI 
contribution and benefit base is $102,000 for 2008.

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts

General

    We withhold Social Security benefits when a beneficiary under the 
normal retirement age (NRA) has earnings in excess of the applicable 
retirement earnings test exempt amount. (NRA is the age of initial 
benefit entitlement for which the benefit, before rounding, is equal to 
the worker's primary insurance amount. The NRA is age 65 for those born 
before 1938, and it gradually increases to age 67.) A higher exempt 
amount applies in the year in which a person attains his/her NRA, but 
only with respect to earnings in months prior to such attainment, and a 
lower exempt amount applies at all other ages below NRA. Section 
203(f)(8)(B) of the Act, as amended by section 102 of Public Law 104-
121, provides formulas for determining the monthly exempt amounts. The 
corresponding annual exempt amounts are exactly 12 times the monthly 
amounts.
    For beneficiaries attaining NRA in the year, we withhold $1 in 
benefits for every $3 of earnings in excess of the annual exempt amount 
for months prior to such attainment. For all other beneficiaries under 
NRA, we withhold $1 in benefits for every $2 of earnings in excess of 
the annual exempt amount.

Computation

    Under the formula applicable to beneficiaries who are under NRA and 
who will not attain NRA in 2008, the lower monthly exempt amount for 
2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1994 monthly exempt amount 
multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to 
that for 1992; or (2) the 2007 monthly exempt amount ($1,080). If the 
resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the 
nearest multiple of $10.
    Under the formula applicable to beneficiaries attaining NRA in 
2008, the higher monthly exempt amount for 2008 shall be the larger of: 
(1) the 2002 monthly exempt amount multiplied by the ratio of the 
national average wage index for 2006 to that for 2000; or (2) the 2007 
monthly exempt amount ($2,870). If the resulting amount is not a 
multiple of $10, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10.

Lower Exempt Amount

    Multiplying the 1994 retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount 
of $670 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of 
$1,129.10. We round this to $1,130. Because $1,130 is larger than the 
corresponding current exempt amount of $1,080, the lower retirement 
earnings test monthly exempt amount is $1,130 for 2008. The 
corresponding lower annual exempt amount is $13,560 under the 
retirement earnings test.

Higher Exempt Amount

    Multiplying the 2002 retirement earnings test monthly exempt amount 
of $2,500 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41) to that for 2000 ($32,154.82) produces the amount of 
$3,005.10. We round this to $3,010. Because $3,010 is larger than the 
corresponding current exempt amount of $2,870, the higher retirement 
earnings test monthly exempt amount is $3,010 for 2008. The 
corresponding higher annual exempt amount is $36,120 under the 
retirement earnings test.

Computing Benefits After 1978

General

    The Social Security Amendments of 1977 provided a method for 
computing benefits which generally applies when a worker first becomes 
eligible for benefits after 1978. This method uses the worker's 
``average indexed monthly earnings'' to compute the primary insurance 
amount. We adjust the computation formula each year to reflect changes 
in general wage levels, as measured by the national average wage index.
    We also adjust, or ``index,'' a worker's earnings to reflect the 
change in general wage levels that occurred during the worker's years 
of employment. Such indexation ensures that a worker's future benefit 
level will reflect the general rise in the standard of living that will 
occur during his or her working lifetime. To compute the average 
indexed monthly earnings, we first determine the required number of 
years of earnings. Then we select that number of years with the highest 
indexed earnings, add the indexed earnings, and divide the total amount 
by the total number of months in those years. We then round the 
resulting average amount down to the next lower dollar amount. The 
result is the average indexed monthly earnings.
    For example, to compute the average indexed monthly earnings for a 
worker attaining age 62, becoming disabled before age 62, or dying 
before attaining age 62, in 2008, we divide the national average wage 
index for 2006, $38,651.41, by the national average wage index for each 
year prior to 2006 in which the worker had earnings. Then we multiply 
the actual wages and self-employment income, as defined in section 
211(b) of the Act and credited for each year, by the corresponding 
ratio to obtain the worker's indexed earnings for each year before 
2006. We consider any earnings in 2006 or later at face value, without 
indexing. We then compute the average indexed monthly earnings for 
determining the worker's primary insurance amount for 2008.

Computing the Primary Insurance Amount

    The primary insurance amount is the sum of three separate 
percentages of portions of the average indexed monthly earnings. In 
1979 (the first year the formula was in effect), these portions were 
the first $180, the amount between $180 and $1,085, and the amount over 
$1,085. We call the dollar amounts in the formula governing the 
portions of the average indexed monthly earnings the ``bend points'' of 
the formula. Thus, the bend points for 1979 were $180 and $1,085.
    To obtain the bend points for 2008, we multiply each of the 1979 
bend-point amounts by the ratio of the national average wage index for 
2006 to that average for 1977. We then round

[[Page 60707]]

these results to the nearest dollar. Multiplying the 1979 amounts of 
$180 and $1,085 by the ratio of the national average wage index for 
2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1977 ($9,779.44) produces the amounts of 
$711.42 and $4,288.26. We round these to $711 and $4,288. Accordingly, 
the portions of the average indexed monthly earnings to be used in 2008 
are the first $711, the amount between $711 and $4,288, and the amount 
over $4,288.
    Consequently, for individuals who first become eligible for old-age 
insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits in 2008, or who die 
in 2008 before becoming eligible for benefits, their primary insurance 
amount will be the sum of
    (a) 90 percent of the first $711 of their average indexed monthly 
earnings, plus
    (b) 32 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings over $711 
and through $4,288, plus
    (c) 15 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings over 
$4,288.
    We round this amount to the next lower multiple of $0.10 if it is 
not already a multiple of $0.10. This formula and the rounding 
adjustment described above are contained in section 215(a) of the Act 
(42 U.S.C. 415(a)).

Maximum Benefits Payable to a Family

General

    The 1977 amendments continued the long established policy of 
limiting the total monthly benefits that a worker's family may receive 
based on his or her primary insurance amount. Those amendments also 
continued the then existing relationship between maximum family 
benefits and primary insurance amounts but did change the method of 
computing the maximum amount of benefits that may be paid to a worker's 
family. The Social Security Disability Amendments of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-
265) established a formula for computing the maximum benefits payable 
to the family of a disabled worker. This formula applies to the family 
benefits of workers who first become entitled to disability insurance 
benefits after June 30, 1980, and who first become eligible for these 
benefits after 1978. For disabled workers initially entitled to 
disability benefits before July 1980, or whose disability began before 
1979, we compute the family maximum payable the same as the old-age and 
survivor family maximum.

Computing the Old-Age and Survivor Family Maximum

    The formula used to compute the family maximum is similar to that 
used to compute the primary insurance amount. It involves computing the 
sum of four separate percentages of portions of the worker's primary 
insurance amount. In 1979, these portions were the first $230, the 
amount between $230 and $332, the amount between $332 and $433, and the 
amount over $433. We refer to such dollar amounts in the formula as the 
``bend points'' of the family-maximum formula.
    To obtain the bend points for 2008, we multiply each of the 1979 
bend-point amounts by the ratio of the national average wage index for 
2006 to that average for 1977. Then we round this amount to the nearest 
dollar. Multiplying the amounts of $230, $332, and $433 by the ratio of 
the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1977 
($9,779.44) produces the amounts of $909.03, $1,312.17, and $1,711.35. 
We round these amounts to $909, $1,312, and $1,711. Accordingly, the 
portions of the primary insurance amounts to be used in 2008 are the 
first $909, the amount between $909 and $1,312, the amount between 
$1,312 and $1,711, and the amount over $1,711.
    Consequently, for the family of a worker who becomes age 62 or dies 
in 2008 before age 62, we will compute the total amount of benefits 
payable to them so that it does not exceed
    (a) 150 percent of the first $909 of the worker's primary insurance 
amount, plus
    (b) 272 percent of the worker's primary insurance amount over $909 
through $1,312, plus
    (c) 134 percent of the worker's primary insurance amount over 
$1,312 through $1,711, plus
    (d) 175 percent of the worker's primary insurance amount over 
$1,711.
    We then round this amount to the next lower multiple of $0.10 if it 
is not already a multiple of $0.10. This formula and the rounding 
adjustment described above are contained in section 203(a) of the Act 
(42 U.S.C. 403(a)).

Quarter of Coverage Amount

General

    The amount of earnings required for a quarter of coverage in 2008 
is $1,050. A quarter of coverage is the basic unit for determining 
whether a worker is insured under the Social Security program. For 
years before 1978, we generally credited an individual with a quarter 
of coverage for each quarter in which wages of $50 or more were paid, 
or with 4 quarters of coverage for every taxable year in which $400 or 
more of self-employment income was earned. Beginning in 1978, employers 
generally report wages on an annual basis instead of a quarterly basis. 
With the change to annual reporting, section 352(b) of the Social 
Security Amendments of 1977 amended section 213(d) of the Act to 
provide that a quarter of coverage would be credited for each $250 of 
an individual's total wages and self-employment income for calendar 
year 1978, up to a maximum of 4 quarters of coverage for the year.

Computation

    Under the prescribed formula, the quarter of coverage amount for 
2008 shall be the larger of: (1) The 1978 amount of $250 multiplied by 
the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1976; 
or (2) the current amount of $1,000. Section 213(d) further provides 
that if the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall be 
rounded to the nearest multiple of $10.

Quarter of Coverage Amount

    Multiplying the 1978 quarter of coverage amount ($250) by the ratio 
of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 
1976 ($9,226.48) produces the amount of $1,047.30. We then round this 
amount to $1,050. Because $1,050 exceeds the current amount of $1,000, 
the quarter of coverage amount is $1,050 for 2008.

``Old-Law'' Contribution and Benefit Base

General

    The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base for 2008 is $75,900. 
This is the base that would have been effective under the Act without 
the enactment of the 1977 amendments.
    The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base is used by:
    (a) The Railroad Retirement program to determine certain tax 
liabilities and tier II benefits payable under that program to 
supplement the tier I payments which correspond to basic Social 
Security benefits,
    (b) the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to determine the 
maximum amount of pension guaranteed under the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act (as stated in section 230(d) of the Social Security 
Act),
    (c) Social Security to determine a year of coverage in computing 
the special minimum benefit, as described earlier, and
    (d) Social Security to determine a year of coverage (acquired 
whenever earnings equal or exceed 25 percent of the ``old-law'' base 
for this purpose only) in computing benefits for persons who are also 
eligible to receive pensions based on employment not covered under 
section 210 of the Act.

[[Page 60708]]

Computation

    The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base shall be the larger 
of: (1) The 1994 ``old-law'' base ($45,000) multiplied by the ratio of 
the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1992; or (2) the 
current ``old-law'' base ($72,600). If the resulting amount is not a 
multiple of $300, it shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $300.

Amount

    Multiplying the 1994 ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base 
amount ($45,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 
2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of 
$75,835.26. We round this amount to $75,900. Because $75,900 exceeds 
the current amount of $72,600, the ``old-law'' contribution and benefit 
base is $75,900 for 2008.

Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts

General

    A finding of disability under titles II and XVI of the Act requires 
that a person, except for a title XVI disabled child, be unable to 
engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning 
more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work 
expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of 
monthly earnings considered as SGA depends on the nature of a person's 
disability. Section 223(d)(4)(A) of the Act specifies a higher SGA 
amount for statutorily blind individuals under title II while Federal 
regulations (20 CFR 404.1574 and 416.974) specify a lower SGA amount 
for non-blind individuals. Both SGA amounts increase in accordance with 
increases in the national average wage index.

Computation

    The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals under 
title II for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) Such amount for 1994 
multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to 
that for 1992; or (2) such amount for 2007. The monthly SGA amount for 
non-blind disabled individuals for 2008 shall be the larger of: (1) 
Such amount for 2000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average 
wage index for 2006 to that for 1998; or (2) such amount for 2007. In 
either case, if the resulting amount is not a multiple of $10, it shall 
be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10.

SGA Amount for Statutorily Blind Individuals

    Multiplying the 1994 monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind 
individuals ($930) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 
2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 1992 ($22,935.42) produces the amount of 
$1,567.26. We then round this amount to $1,570. Because $1,570 is 
larger than the current amount of $1,500, the monthly SGA amount for 
statutorily blind individuals is $1,570 for 2008.

SGA Amount for Non-Blind Disabled Individuals

    Multiplying the 2000 monthly SGA amount for non-blind individuals 
($700) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41) to that for 1998 ($28,861.44) produces the amount of 
$937.44. We then round this amount to $940. Because $940 is larger than 
the current amount of $900, the monthly SGA amount for non-blind 
disabled individuals is $940 for 2008.

Trial Work Period Earnings Threshold

General

    During a trial work period, a beneficiary receiving Social Security 
disability benefits may test his or her ability to work and still be 
considered disabled. We do not consider services performed during the 
trial work period as showing that the disability has ended until 
services have been performed in at least 9 months (not necessarily 
consecutive) in a rolling 60-month period. In 2007, any month in which 
earnings exceed $640 is considered a month of services for an 
individual's trial work period. In 2008, this monthly amount increases 
to $670.

Computation

    The method used to determine the new amount is set forth in our 
regulations at 20 CFR 404.1592(b). Monthly earnings in 2008, used to 
determine whether a month is part of a trial work period, is such 
amount for 2001 ($530) multiplied by the ratio of the national average 
wage index for 2006 to that for 1999, or, if larger, such amount for 
2007. If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it 
to the nearest multiple of $10.

Amount

    Multiplying the 2001 monthly earnings threshold ($530) by the ratio 
of the national average wage index for 2006 ($38,651.41) to that for 
1999 ($30,469.84) produces the amount of $672.31. We then round this 
amount to $670. Because $670 is larger than the current amount of $640, 
the monthly earnings threshold is $670 for 2008.

Domestic Employee Coverage Threshold

General

    The minimum amount a domestic worker must earn so that such 
earnings are covered under Social Security or Medicare is the domestic 
employee coverage threshold. For 2008, this threshold is $1,600. 
Section 3121(x) of the Internal Revenue Code provides the formula for 
increasing the threshold.

Computation

    Under the formula, the domestic employee coverage threshold amount 
for 2008 shall be equal to the 1995 amount of $1,000 multiplied by the 
ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1993. If 
the resulting amount is not a multiple of $100, it shall be rounded to 
the next lower multiple of $100.

Domestic Employee Coverage Threshold Amount

    Multiplying the 1995 domestic employee coverage threshold amount 
($1,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41) to that for 1993 ($23,132.67) produces the amount of 
$1,670.86. We then round this amount to $1,600. Accordingly, the 
domestic employee coverage threshold amount is $1,600 for 2008.

Election Worker Coverage Threshold

General

    The minimum amount an election worker must earn so that such 
earnings are covered under Social Security or Medicare is the election 
worker coverage threshold. For 2008, this threshold is $1,400. Section 
218(c)(8)(B) of the Act provides the formula for increasing the 
threshold.

Computation

    Under the formula, the election worker coverage threshold amount 
for 2008 shall be equal to the 1999 amount of $1,000 multiplied by the 
ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 to that for 1997. If 
the amount so determined is not a multiple of $100, it shall be rounded 
to the nearest multiple of $100.

Election Worker Coverage Threshold Amount

    Multiplying the 1999 election worker coverage threshold amount 
($1,000) by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2006 
($38,651.41) to that for 1997 ($27,426.00) produces the amount

[[Page 60709]]

of $1,409.30. We then round this amount to $1,400. Accordingly, the 
election worker coverage threshold amount is $1,400 for 2008.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: Program Nos. 96.001 Social 
Security--Disability Insurance; 96.002 Social Security--Retirement 
Insurance; 96.004 Social Security--Survivors Insurance; 96.006 
Supplemental Security Income).

    Dated: October 19, 2007.
Michael J. Astrue,
Commissioner of Social Security.
 [FR Doc. E7-21070 Filed 10-24-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P