Update on California budget crisis and SSI payments.

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In my  previous blog post, California budget crisis may reduce state SSI supplement, I mentioned that the state of California may lower its supplemental portion for SSI recipients.  As of the date this post is written, California is still without a budget.  It remains unclear what the State will do in the future about the state supplement.   I guess the state controller’s  has been receiving many  questions on this issue (and other budget related issues).  The, State Controller, John Chiang, has now publshed on his web site a set of Frequently asked Questions about what will happen in February if no budget has been passed.

One of those questions relates to SSI and what will happen in February 2009 with no budget.  Mr. Chiang replies that the State will not be able to pay the supplement.  In the past, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has floated the State when the State could not provide the funding due to a budget.  Because the SSA requires a 30 day notice before ceasing payment, the SSA will provide both federal and state benefits of SSI, at least through March and possibly April.

This is not a great solution but it is of some assurance that people will continue receiving benfits through March.  Hopefully the State will have a budget by then.


  1. I’ve been hearing that SSI payments will stop after March 1, 2009. I for one am a bit concerned, Because people rely on SSI payments to pay their rent, utilities, food etc. etc. Crime will inevitably skyrocket, Most people who are on SSI are mentally disabled. When you take away or stop the benefits of a person thats mentally ill, In reaction they will steal or kill to survive. Nobody likes to be angry & hungry because they have no money, And then being fed a bunch of lame excuses about the state ran out of funds or has no budget. This problem needs to be corrected due to the fact, It doesn’t take a genuis to realize that when a person is in a desperate situation, Their behavior can become drastic. Worse case scenariol, People will get evicted unable to pay rent, Hungry unable to buy food, Unable to see a doctor or get medications, Medical benefits will stop. When you have a mental patient thats homeless, hungry, nonmedicated what will happen? Its scary.

  2. I just recieved a letter from the social sercurity admin today informing me that my check is going to be $37 less in may and continuing,luck that I did get a $2.00 cost of living in january.$37 a month less and a increase in sales tax with a 20 day notice.I barely survive on my income now and hate to think about that now.Economic Stimulis that we hear about,well $37 a month less seems like i’m going to have to do without things i need to survive and does our elected officials care?HELL NO!! Wonder how many lives may end due to this cut in income,my medication will have to be bought with money i don’t have next month.

  3. yes, i to received my letter regarding my $36 reduction in my ssi payment for May 1. I can not believe the Governor’s action and my legislator for passing and/or voting on such a bill and or measure. Of all of the programs that could have been reduced, why did he select the one that affects lower class americans first. It is a sad day, and May 1, will be the beginning of a sad month not only for me, but others as well. I can barely survive on what I have been receiving, and now I am made to suffer even more.

    1. Hi all,
      I, too, face the same hardships as youselves, having my ssi cut. I would give anything to be able to work and not have to ask for ‘these crumbs to the dogs’, but I am physically disabled and have no choice. As my ssi payment decreased, my rent went up. Food is up. Auto registration is up. We are all, most likely, tettering on the edge between home and homeless. So now, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I, for one, don’t intend on taking this ‘laying down’ so to speak. We need to do something! Each and every one of us, either together or individually. I am going to contact representives from my district to see what can be done. This will be my first step. LETS GET ACTIVE,PEOPLE!! I will post when I get any information that might help us. Take care all.

  4. California’s nuts! I moved from San Francisco back to Chicago late in 2007. When I lived in California, I thought I was lucky. Yes, California does supplement federal SSI payments, but it is not the only state to do so. Plus, California’s cost of living, mainly rent, generally far outstrips the cost is pretty much every state. The supplement is needed to pay rent. It does not cover food payments, although California is the only state that automatically makes SSI recipients ineligible for food stamps. Granted, I no longer receive any SSI, but in California I was eligible for a nominal food stamp allowance of $10.00. I was told that is because California does not include the true cost of housing in it’s calculations. Instead, it gives a maximum housing allowance of $600. My rent was $916 in San Francisco, and I lived in a slum. In Chicago, my rent is $770. I live in a well-kept building along the lakefront and receive $111/mth in food stamps, because public aid took into consideration my true rent cost. I feel fortunate that I had no lasting ties to California, family, birthright…, although I do visit friends who live there. Not having deep ties made it easier to leave.

  5. “Cut the paychecks of state legislators.”

    I totally agree with Doc … Starting in July there will be another cut coming that was already scheduled BEFORE Gov Arnold’s props were voted down, meaning this SSI cut was going to happen no matter if the props passed or not. My $239 SSI check was reduced to $202 in May and will be cut another $20 down to $182 starting in July.

    We’re talking about a total cut of 24%, at least out of my check. I’m also totally disabled and can’t work. Anybody that takes a one-quarter cut in their check will feel the pinch. Look out ‘streets’ here we come … the elderly and disabled are on the way!

  6. My friend just received a letter june 1st saying his check was going 2 b cut $50 dollars by the state!! As it is he can barely make it on what he gets, with rent, food, utilities, and gas, he runs out of $$ way before the end of the month. How can the state give less than 30 days notice?? He was told by the ssa 2 b prepared 4 california completely doing away with their ssi payments. That means that he will only have $624 to live on less after just his rent which is $500. The people in sacremento need to get their heads out of their butts and start taxing the rich and leave the poor ALONE! The state plans on cutting welfare programs that i depend on, like CalWORKS and subsidized childcare. If those programs go i will not b able 2 work and then go onto welfare which i dont want 2 do!!

    1. Lonie, I haven’t heard about the state doing away with SSI completely, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. If that DOES happen, then I will be bringing in a total of $688 and my rent is $695. Do the math. It doesn’t look too promising for the disabled in CA, does it? At least with no SSI, we’d be eligible for food stamps, which we ARE NOT able to get in CA now if we get an SSI check. This is one of the few states that has that law.

      I can’t see of a way out the way things are going here in the Golden State.

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