TAYLOR, Ala. (WDHN) — Smitty Smith, is one of the one million social security recipients in the state of Alabama happy to hear she will have extra dollars on her monthly check starting in January of next year.

“I think it’s wonderful because we got older people whose husband or wife died and they are trying to live on what they made or worked at places where they didn’t make as much,” Smith said.

The Social Security Administration has announced an 8.7% increase — this is the first increase in four decades.

The intent of the increase is to battle the cost of living.

“You got to pay your bills and to pay your bills you have to be conservative, especially those on the lower social security level there are some that have made megabucks of money and some that haven’t made as much money,” She said.

Smith said she’s somewhere in the middle ground. The increase comes out to $140 more than what she normally receives every month.

She plans to use most of it on utilities.

“There are months where my light bill is higher and 140 will really help to pay the light, and phone bill and even buy a few more groceries,” Smith said.

Any money she has left over, she plans to save and bless others with it.

“If one of my kids or grandkids needs something I will give it to them or give it to my church,” She added.

The Social Security Administration also says Medicare premiums will decrease in 2023.