COLA Increase Could Be Negated By Food Stamps Cuts For Many SSDI Recipients

Last week, we reported about the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits, which will increase 1.5 percent next year. Well, the Huffington Post reported in an article titled “Food Stamp Cut Wipes Out Some Americans’ Social Security Increases” that some people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will have their COLA negated by cuts to the federal food stamp program, which went into effect two weeks ago.

“Nearly 17 percent of food stamp recipients lived in households that also had Social Security income in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available,” HuffPost reported. “Seventeen percent of today’s enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would be nearly 8 million people.”

A representative with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank organization, spoke to the HuffPost about the issue. “The COLA isn’t a real increase, it’s just an increase to keep the benefit up to date with inflation,” Paul Van de Water told the news outlet, “whereas the cut that’s taking place in SNAP benefits is actually a cut in real terms.”

The reduction to food stamps came after lawmakers allowed a 13.6 percent benefit increase to the SNAP program that was contained in the 2009 stimulus bill to expire earlier this month.

The HuffPost spoke to Cheryl Kathman of Norwood, Ohio, who suffers from fibromyalgia, and receives about $1,000 per month in Social Security benefits. Prior to the SNAP cut, Kathman received about $228 per month in food stamps for herself and her son. Due to the COLA raise, Kathman’s Social Security payment was expected to raise about $15 per month—but due to the SNAP reduction, she will receive about $20 less per month in food stamps.

“They wanna keep the poor poor,” Kathman said to the HuffPost. “Twenty bucks a month might not seem like much, but that makes a big difference when you go to the store.”

I Need a Tulsa Disability Attorney

It is unfortunate that many people who were expecting to see an increase to their Social Security benefits will actually be seeing a reduction in income due to food stamp cuts. This should serve as a reminder that citizens need to contact local representatives when issues compound that affect them personally, regardless of political ideologies or affiliations.

If you suffer from a disability that leaves you unable to work, we suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. We will help you every step of the way and fight for your rights. Contact us today.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Troutman Touts: SNAP is operated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

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