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May 2009: SSI/SSP Cuts in California and Federal Stimulus Payments


SSI/SSP recipients will receive a cut in their monthly rates effective May 1, 2009

As of 5/1/2009 the state budget cuts will drastically affect the SSI/SSP rates. The SSI/SSP reduction is in an amount equal to the Federal SSI Cost of Living Increase (COLA), which was $37 for an individual and $55 for an eligible couple. Thus the SSI/SSP payment rate for an individual will go down to $870 (from $907) and the rate for an eligible couple will go down to $1524 (from $1579). For blind recipients the SSI/SSP payment rate will go down to $935 (from $972) for an individual and $1,751 (from $1,806) for a blind couple.

Residential Care Facility for Elderly (RCFE) rates will not be cut - the rate will remain at $1,086.

$250 Recovery Payments to go to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries in May 2009

The federal government will send out $250 economic recovery payments to people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits beginning in early May 2009 and continuing throughout the month. No action is required to get the payment, which will be sent separately from the person's regular monthly payment.

These one-time payments will not count as income for the purposes of SSI or Medi-Cal and will be exempt as income and a resource for up to 10 months, including the month of receipt. If both spouses are on Social Security and/or SSI, each will receive a payment. Many RCFE and nursing home residents will also receive the $250 payment - the exception being those who are on SSI and Medicaid in a nursing home. These funds are for the individual for personal use and are not to be paid to the provider.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides for a one-time payment of $250 to adult Social Security beneficiaries, and to SSI recipients, except those receiving Medicaid in care facilities. To receive the payment the individual must be eligible for Social Security or SSI during the months of November 2008, December 2008 or January 2009.

The legislation also provides for a one-time payment to Veterans Affairs (VA) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) beneficiaries. The VA and RRB will be responsible for paying individuals under their respective programs. However, if someone receives Social Security and SSI, VA or RRB benefits, he or she will receive only one $250 payment. People getting Social Security or SSI should not contact the agency unless a payment is not received by June 4, 2009.

For more detailed information and answers to questions about the $250 one-time economic recovery payments, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/payment.

To learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, go to www.recovery.gov.

Page Last Modified: April 29, 2009