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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009.

The increase was announced Wednesday when the government released a key measure of inflation, which determines whether people who receive Social Security get a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA.

About 8 million people who receive Supplemental Security Income will also receive the 3.6 percent COLA, meaning the announcement will affect about one in five US residents.

There was no cost-of-living adjustment in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low. Those were the first two years without a COLA since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

Monthly Social Security payments average $1,082, or about $13,000 a year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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