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After two years with no benefit increases because the federal government claimed the cost of living had not gone up, America’s 55 million Social Security recipients will get their first cost of living raise since 2009.
The Social Security Administration will make it official Wednesday — a 3.6 percent increase to monthly checks.
Senior Citizens activists say the increase is long overdue.
“The federal government lied to retirees for two years with their claims that the cost of living had not gone up in this country,” Shirley Messing, who runs a senior advocacy group in Washington, told Capitol Hill Blue. “Anyone who has had to buy food or pay for utilities know that the costs kept going up.”
David Certner, legislative policy director for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says too many retirees rely on their monthly social security checks for most of their income.
“Every dollar makes a difference to these folks,” Certner says.
But the good news is tempered by Medicare premiums, which are expected to also increase in January — the same month the cost of living increase goes into effect.
“The government giveth and the government taketh away,” says Messing. “You can’t win.”