Social Security recipients will get a raise in January – their first since 2009. It’s expected to be about 3-5%. Some 55 million beneficiaries will find out for sure today when a government inflation measure that determines the annual cost-of-living adjustment is released. Congress adopted the measure in the 1970s, and since then it has resulted in annual benefit increases averaging 4.2%. But there was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low. However, that will change starting in January. The bad news is that some of the increases will be lost to higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments. Monthly Social Security payments average $1,082, or about $13,000 a year. A 3-5% increase would amount to an additional $38 a month, or about $455 a year.