First Cost-of-Living Adjustment Since 2009 Coming Next Year

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6% in 2012, the Social Security Administration announced.

The 3.6% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012.  Increased payments to more than eight million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011.  

In addition, the Administration announced that based on the increase in average wages, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $110,100 from $106,800.    

Information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at  For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.   

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, visit