MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Social Security recipients will see a small 1.5 percent increase in benefits next year the government announced Wednesday. The increase is one of the smallest since automatic adjustments began in 1975.

Based on an average payment of $1,272 a month, the 1.5 percent increase in Social Security benefits will amount to an additional $19 a month.

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The government said the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, was so small because consumer prices haven’t risen as much in the past year. According to the government, the COLA impacts benefits for more than one-fifth of the country and impacts benefits for disabled veterans, federal retirees, and SSI.

In addition to the rise in benefits, the amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes will also rise slightly next year. Social Security is funded by a 12.4 percent tax on the first $113,700 in wages, but the wage threshold will increase next year to $117,000 next year.

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The COLA announcement had been scheduled for two weeks ago. It was delayed because the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not issue the inflation report for September during the partial government shutdown.

Since 1975, annual Social Security raises have averaged just over 4 percent. Next year will mark only the seventh time the COLA has been less than 2 percent, including three of the past five years. This year’s increase was 1.7 percent. There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low.

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