California’s 2009 budget reduces SSI cost of living adjustment

On February 20,  Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a much-debated budget plan.  You may find the budget documents on the website of the California Department of Finance.  The California Budget Project has prepared an excellent summary of the budget plan.

For SSI recipients, the budget reduces the cost of  living adjustment (“COLA”) that had been effective since January 1, 2009.  In January 2009, a recipient’s maximum monthly SSI payment had increased due to a federal COLA to $907 for individuals and $1,579 for couples.  Effective May 1, 2009, the State Supplementary Payment (“SSP”)  portion of the combined grant will be reduced by the same amount of the increase.  Thus, the maximum combined SSI/SSP portions for individuals and couples will return to their December 2008 levels of $870 and $1,524, respectively.

The budget also provides that the state COLA will also be suspended in June 2010.  Thus, the maximum amount an individual or a couple may receive  will remain at these December 2008 levels through the end of the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

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