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Social Security to hand out first raises since ’09

October 19, 2011 • National News


FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2005 file photo, trays of printed social security checks wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Management services facility in Philadelphia. Social Security recipients will get a raise in January _ their first increase in benefits since 2009. Experts expect the increase will be about 3.5 percent. Some 55 million beneficiaries find out for sure Wednesday when an inflation measure that determines the annual cost-of-living adjustment is released. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Social Security recipients will get a raise in January — their first increase in benefits since 2009. It’s expected to be about 3.5 percent.

Some 55 million beneficiaries will find out for sure Wednesday when a government inflation measure that determines the annual cost-of-living adjustment is released.

Congress adopted the measure in the 1970s, and since then it has resulted in annual benefit increases averaging 4.2 percent. But there was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low. That was small comfort to the millions of retirees and disabled people who have seen retirement accounts dwindle and home values drop during the period of economic weakness, said David Certner, legislative policy director for the AARP.

“People certainly feel like they are falling behind, and these are modest income folks to begin with, so every Login to read more

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