Q: Will there be a 2013 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for SSI?
A: Yes. The October announcement about the 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2013 included both monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. COLA changes will be in the Supplement Security Income payment received on December 31, 2012. COLA changes to Social Security will begin with benefits received in January 2013.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. See SSA publication 05-11000, Supplemental Security Income for program information.
Due to the COLA increase, in 2013 the maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income amount for an individual will increase to $710 per month compared to the 2012 maximum of $698. For an eligible couple, where both wife and husband receive SSI, the 2013 maximum amount is $1,066, up from the 2012 maximum of $1,048. Individual states can add to these amounts if desired.
These are maximum Federal amounts. Including Social Security benefits, other income reduces these SSI maximums. As of October 2012, approximately 8,278,000 people of all ages received Supplemental Security Income benefits. Of this number, 2,788,000 received both Social Security and SSI.
Including all national Supplemental Security Income recipients, whether child or adult or based on disability, blindness or age, as of October 2012, the average monthly SSI payment was about $516.
Allowable Supplemental Security Income resource levels are not changing in 2013. They remain at $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for an eligible couple.
Details concerning what is included as income or resources for Supplemental Security Income is not changing in 2013 compared to 2012. Not all income or resources are counted for SSI purposes. For example, the home you live in is not included.
Learn more about Supplemental Security Income at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/ssi.htm. To apply, telephone the national Social Security toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, between 7:00am – 7:00pm, local time, or contact your local Social Security office.