Adjustment Means Higher Social Security Benefits in 2012

The first increase in monthly social security and supplemental security income benefits since 2009 takes effect this year. The cost-of-living adjustment automatically raises benefits based on increases in the Consumer Price Index as measured during the third quarter of each year. If prices rise, so do payments. If prices fall, benefits remain the same. In 2009, payments increased 5.8 percent based on spikes in energy prices. The past two years, however, payments remained flat due to low inflation. The 3.6 percent increase for 2012 means nearly 60 million social-security recipients will get an average of an additional $467 this year. More here.

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