Social Security increase starts January - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Social Security increase starts January

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government will announced Thursday the amount of cost-of-living increases in monthly Social Security checks as of January.

It's expected to be the smallest increase in four years, even though the nation's nearly 50 million recipients are paying significantly more for such items as food, energy and medical care.

Many private economists are looking for an increase of around two percent. That will compare to an increase last January of three and a-third percent and an increase in 2006 of just over four percent.

The 2006 cost-of-living adjustment had been the largest in 15 years. The adjustment each year is based on the change in consumer prices from the July-September quarter of the current year compared to the same period in the previous year. Benefit payments have been tied to inflation since 1975.

The big jump for 2006 occurred because energy prices soared in September 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

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