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Social Security Benefits to Increase Next Year

PHOTO: Those receiving Social Security will see an increase of 1.7 percent next year in their benefits.
PHOTO: Those receiving Social Security will see an increase of 1.7 percent next year in their benefits.
October 19, 2012

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Americans who receive Social Security benefits will see an increase of 1.7 percent in their monthly checks next year.

The Social Security Administration announced the cost of living adjustment (COLA) earlier this week. Dennis Eisnach, volunteer president of AARP-South Dakota, says seniors appreciate the increase, but it isn't enough to keep up with increasing expenses.

"The raises we are getting because of the economy, whether you're doing manual labor or whether you're a professional, just don't keep up with the rising costs of health care in particular, and the rest of the costs, whether it's gasoline or just increased costs in general."

Eisnach says many senior citizens in South Dakota depend on Social Security for most or all of their income and the benefits are critical to the state's economy.

"There's 153,500 Social Security recipients, and 45.4 percent depend on Social Security for 50 percent of more of their income. So, you can see how important it is to seniors."

AARP held meetings in every county in the state this summer to get input on Social Security and Medicare. Eisnach says AARP expects more serious discussions after the election.

"Once the election happens and we know who is going to be our president and we know the make-up of the Congress, then I think that we can start to contact those people, AARP can start contacting our Congressional people and the executive branch about the things we found out, and the concerns seniors have as far as their future when it comes to Medicare and Social Security."

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD