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Social Security projects biggest payment increase in years

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WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security are projected to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January.

However, it’s only a 2.2 percent increase, or about $28 a month for the average recipient.

The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare released their 2018 projections Thursday, along with their annual warning about the long-term financial problems of the federal government’s two bedrock retirement programs.

Unless Congress acts, the trust funds that support Social Security are estimated to run dry in 2034. Medicare’s trust fund for inpatient care is projected to be depleted in 2029.

If Congress allows either fund to be depleted, millions of Americans living on fixed incomes would face steep cuts in benefits.

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