Social Security To Increase In 2012 - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Social Security To Increase In 2012

Posted: Updated:

by Nick Beres and Heather Graf

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the first time since 2009, Social Security recipients will receive a cost of living increase to help keep up with inflation.

The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday a 3.6% benefit increase for 2012. This means a person living alone who drew $ 675 a month last year will receive $698 a month beginning in January.

In general most won't see more than a $20 to $40 increase, but even that small amount can mean a lot.

"To those folks really suffering it's going to matter. I saw a special about a guy saying this is going to matter if I have eat or heat," said Derrell Payne with the Social Security Administration.

Social Security is the main source of income for many Americans over the age of 65, and the program pays out an estimated $727 billion dollars to beneficiaries.

Currently, 1.3 million Tennesseans depend on their social security checks to pay bills and buy groceries and medications.

News Channel 5 visited a retirement home in Madison to see what local seniors think about the increase.

"I'm not holding my breath, and I'm not spending it before I get it!" said 97-year-old Thad Martin, who paid into social security since he was 66 years old.  "It was a wonderful thing that Roosevelt started, but I'm sorry to say, the politicians have tried to ruin it."

Others said they'll take any increase they can get.

"It's better than not getting any income raise," said Nell Herndon.  "There's a point where you can't keep living because you can't buy the necessities."

It's also important to note that Medicare premiums have been frozen the past two years. With the announcement of the cost-of-living adjustment it's possible some of those premiums will now also go up.  Those increases could eat into some of the money people are expecting.

Local seniors say they're already preparing for that possibility.

"Well I assume Medicare will go up too.  Isn't that what happened before when we had a little bit of an increase?  And the Medicare increase evens it out," said Sue Heismeyer.

The 3.6% social security increase will take effect in January.

The government says that increase also means high-income workers may be getting a bigger tax bill next year.

That's because the inflation that justifies the benefit increase will raise the amount of income subject to social security taxes, from $106,800 to $110,100.


Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.