Social Security benefits to increase 3.6 pct.

WASHINGTON

Starting in January, the 55 million Social Security recipients will receive a 3.6 percent increase.

About eight million people who receive Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor, also will receive the same increase.

The average monthly /*Social Security*/ payment of about $13,000 a year will increase by close to $500.

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.

There was no adjustment in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low.

This year, Social Security will pay out $727 billion in benefits to retirees, disabled people, surviving spouses and children, the agency said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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