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Increase for Recipients of SSI Benefits in 2012

After two years of no increases in the benefit amount for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the government announced last fall that individuals receiving that benefit would see a cost of living increase. The increase took effect in the last days of December 2011.

The increase - 3.6 percent -- will affect the more than eight million people currently receiving SSI benefits. SSI is a federal program for the blind and disabled, as well as seniors who are ineligible for regular Social Security benefits for the elderly. Children who are blind or disabled may also be eligible to receive SSI benefits.

After the increase, the maximum amount available through the SSI program in 2012 is $698 for an individual and $1,048 for a couple. However, some states will add money to this amount and it may be possible to receive a higher benefit, depending on where the recipient lives.

The increased benefit amount is a cost of living adjustment (COLA) and is determined by the third quarter increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over that of the previous third quarter. The preliminary amount of the benefit increase was announced in October after the CPI had been calculated.

Source: Social Security Administration Press Office, Social Security Announces 3.6 Percent Benefit Increase for 2012, Oct, 19, 2012.

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