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October 22, 2019

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Retiree checks to rise modestly amid push to expand benefits

Updated Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 | 5:40 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Social Security says millions of retirees will get a modest 1.6% cost-of-living increase in 2020 — and that comes to about $24 more a month more the average retired worker.

That news could have political consequences in an election year when Democrats are pushing more generous inflation protection, along with better benefits overall.

After a significant boost this year, the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, for 2020 is reverting to its pattern of moderate gains.

Seniors and advocates complain that the inflation yardstick used to determine the annual adjustment doesn't adequately reflect their costs, mainly for health care.

The COLA affects household budgets for about 1 in 5 Americans, meaning nearly 70 million people, and that includes Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.