California reduces SSI payment again in October 2009

As those of you already on SSI already know, your SSI monthly amount was reduced in October 2009.  The California state legislature has made a series of budget cuts to the state supplement over the past year:

  • January 2009, the maximum grant was $907 for a single person and $1579 for couples;
  • May 2009, the maximum grant was $870 for a single person and $1524 for couples;
  • July 2009, the maximum grant was $850 for a single person and $1489 for couples;
  • October 2009, the maximum is now $845 for a single person and $1407 for couples.

Disability Rights California has published an excellent question and answer booklet about California’s budget cuts to the state SSI supplement.  It answers many frequently asked questions and is quite informative.

Social Security’s response to California’s cut in the State Supplementary Payment

If you are on SSI and live in California, you already know that the amount of your monthly check has been reduced. This reduction was caused by the state of California. The State has reduced the State Supplemental Payment. For more information, you may see my previous blog posts: California budget crisis may reduce state SSI supplement and Update on California budget crisis and SSI payments.

Apparently the Social Security Administration has become tired of people calling them and blaming them. They produced a fact sheet entitled, “Reduction of SSI Payments Effective May 1, 2009.” I obtained a copy of the fact sheet at the Walnut Creek field office.

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.