Effect of SSI COLA on CalFresh benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients received a Cost of Living Increase effective January 1, 2022.  The new SSI amount must be acted on for CalFresh purposes no later than March, 2022.  This will happen automatically for most CalFresh cases. Counties must manually process some cases, including cases that receive SSI amount that are more than the maximum monthly SSI payment (because of a retroactive SSI payment for example).  Supplemental Nutrition Benefits and Transitional Nutrition Benefit cases are not affected by the SSI COLA increase.

Note that retroactive SSI payments are excluded as income for CalFresh purposes.  January 2022 should include a higher than usual number of retroactive payments because of improper benefits reductions and denials caused by Social Security incorrectly counting pandemic benefits as income.  Any cases with amounts over the SSI maximum payment will be excluded from automatic processing to prevent improperly counting SSI retroactive payments.

As a reminder, amounts recouped from SSI benefits, including recoupment of SSI overpayments, do not count as income for CalFresh. (ACIN I-11-22, January 28, 2022.)