Social Security Payments Set to Rise

October 19 00:00 2011

New York, October 19 ( – For the first time since 2009, beneficiaries of Social Security will get a rise of about 3.5% to 3.7% due to a cost of living adjustment effective January. The exact amount will be announced Wednesday when the inflation index upon which the COLA is based, will be unveiled by the government. In 2009, the beneficiaries had received a 5.8% rise but since then no further increases were given mainly due to low inflation. Senior citizens are set to receive their first raise in two years.

Most seniors would, however, not benefit from the full amount of the COLA increase because most of the raise would be negated by the expected hike in Medicare premiums. The increased Medicare premiums, which could include a double-digit rise, are likely to be announced next month.

David Certner, AARP’s legislative policy director said that most seniors will welcome the COLA increase because their monthly Social Security checks have remained the same although their costs have gone up. Nearly 55 million Americans receive benefits and their average monthly check amounts are nearly $1,200. With the latest hike, this amount is likely to increase by $41. In the case of senior citizens, Social Security benefits play a vital role in their survival.