WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) welcomed today’s news that Social Security recipients will receive their first cost-of-living increase in two years. The increase is expected to provide hundreds of dollars to individual seniors and disabled beneficiaries to help make ends meet. 

“I never want any senior to face a choice between paying a utility bill or filling a prescription,” said Himes.  “Every dollar counts.  For two long years too many people have had to make the Social Security dollars they earned stretch further and further.  Starting in January, we will begin providing some relief to those who simply can’t find another corner to cut.”

On Wednesday, the Social Security Administration announced a 3.6% increase in benefits for 2012.  That translates to an increase of approximately $465 per year for the average Social Security recipient.  The Social Security Administration determines the size of any increase in payments once each year, based on the rate of inflation in the third quarter.  There was no increase in either 2010 or 2011.

In addition to providing needed relief to millions of Americans, the increase in benefits is expected to help spur demand throughout the economy.  Economists project modest gains in overall GDP as a result of the increase in Social Security payments announced today.