A common question for residents of the State of California receiving SSI benefits is: “Why didn’t I get a raise this year?” The reason for this is that the Governor of California suspended the Cost of Living Increase (COLA).
How did this happen?
If you receive SSI benefits in California you may be receiving payment from two sources. The Federal government pays $603 per month for SSI benefits in every State. You may not be eligible for the full amount depending on your income and living arrangement; however the maximum Federal amount in 2006 is $603. States like California pay a supplement to the Federal amount because the cost of living is so high in these states.
In California Governor Schwarzenegger lowered the State’s contribution by the amount of the Federal increase, approximately $24. For most people this caused no change in the amount they received from SSI from 2005 to 2006. (The Federal amount went up $24 and the State amount went down $24)
Some Californians are not eligible for the Federal amount in their SSI check due to other income or their living arrangement. These individuals actually saw a decrease in their SSI amount because the amount the State was paying was lowered by the amount of the Federal increase. (Approximately $24)
Can anything be done about this?
If you’re unhappy about this don’t vote to re-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger in the next election.