Associated Press Release
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a government measure of inflation that was released Wednesday morning.
The increase is among the smallest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. It is small because consumer prices haven't gone up much in the past year.
The COLA affects benefits for more than one-fifth of the country. In addition to Social Security payments, it affects benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees and people who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor.
Social Security pays the average retired worker $1,272 a month. A 1.5 percent raise comes to about $19.