WASHINGTON — Tens of millions of Social Security beneficiaries and other retirees can expect an increase in benefits next year as inflation edges higher.

The government announced a cost-of-living adjustment of 2.8 percent on Thursday. That would mean an extra $39 a month for the average retired worker.

Seniors count on the money to help keep pace with rising prices for health care and housing. The Social Security Administration will formally announce details later on Thursday.

By law, the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a broad official measure of consumer prices. Advocates for seniors claim the inflation index doesn’t accurately capture costs faced by seniors, especially health care.

The COLA affects benefits for more than 70 million Americans, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.