Social Security recipients can expect fatter checks next year -- but the money likely won't go far. Social Security benefits are rising two-point-seven percent, or about 25 dollars a month. But, higher Medicare premiums will eat up nearly half of the increase. More than 47 million Americans will start seeing the increase in their January checks. The increase is the largest since benefits rose by three-and-a-half percent in 2001. This year, the hike was two-point-one percent.