California’s 2009 budget reduces SSI cost of living adjustment

Posted by

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.


  1. My elderly mother and myself who is disabled both lost our ssi due to this new budget. I can’t believe that no one fought against this and let this thru. My ssdi income is 902 a month and I got a whopping $25 from SSI but it really hurts losing that income when it is already so low. PLUS the governor here raised the state taxes and double the car registration. How are we disabled and elderly suppose to pay for these things. We need to band together and get rid of this governor. Surely there are other places they can balance their budget on. What the heck does this state spend their money on? Why don’t they send all the foreigners home so that the citizens can live here and not suffer? I can’t believe this guy is still in office and everyone just keeps their mouth shut. My biggest fear now is losing my medicaid. That will be next. They will overturn the PICKLE amendment.

  2. It is done. On April 8, 2009, I received my 30 day notice of reduced monthly payment from SSI by way of the state of California starting in May. I’m in a state of shock! How could this have happened so far under the radar? It’s only $37 for me, but it’s a huge deal for someone living on the edge of homelessness like myself. I’m dismayed that we still prop up the fat cats on the backs of the poor in this day and age. This should be unlawful!

  3. I guess the disabled and the poor would be better off dead … wouldn’t they? it’s like robbing from the poor.. what about all the pedophiles, rapists and murderers that are kept alive at the states expense.. huh?? get rid of them.. not take it out on the poor and disabled..

  4. Vote Arnold out of office!
    I worked and paid into the Social Security system through employment most of my life until spinal injury left me permanently disabled-people like me did not create the budget problems, Governor Arnold’s mismanagement of funds created our budget crisis.

  5. How can we fight this? I can’t afford to both go to the market and pay for my all of my needs now. This is a serious situation for those of us disabled and already barely getting by.
    Let’s save a few less seals and keep the $$ helping people!

Leave a Reply