Social Security and SSI COLA

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will receive a 1.6% cost of living adjustment (COLA) effective January 1, 2020.  The California Department of Social Services has issued instructions regarding how the COLA will impact CalWORKs and CalFresh Grants.

For new CalWORKs and CalFresh applicants, the anticipated amount of the Social Security or SSI benefits, including the COLA, will be used to determine eligibility and grant amount starting for January, 2020.

For CalWORKs and CalFresh households in their final month of their semi-annual reporting period, counties will reasonably anticipate the increase in Social Security and SSI income for January, 2020 and thereafter.

For all other CalWORKs and CalFresh households, counties must adjust benefits beginning in January, 2020 to include the COLA amount because COLA adjustments cause mandatory mid-period changes in grant amounts.  Counties must give timely and adequate notice of grant amount changes caused by the COLA.  (ACIN I-67-19, November 25, 2019.)