Social Security

social security
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Social Security recipients will get a 1.4 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly checks next year -- that translates into an extra $13 a month for the average retired person.

The increase will show up in the January checks.

The cost-of-living adjustment is down from this year and previous years. This year's boost was 2.6 percent, while checks went up by 3.5 percent last year.

Analysts said the smaller hike reflects a slowdown in inflation caused by the weak economy. Even though the raise is smaller, Social Security chief Jo Anne Barnhart said lower inflation is good news for the elderly and disabled.

The increase covers the nation's 46 million people receiving Social Security benefits -- and seven million recipients of Supplemental Security Income, the government's cash aid program for the needy.