BATON ROUGE - A federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to Social Security and veterans benefits for 2021 will result in decreases to some Louisiana residents' Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, as well as benefits through the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP).
The COLA is an annual adjustment based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The 2021 COLA will result in a 1.3% increase in monthly Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. The increase in income will affect eligibility and federal benefits for some Louisiana households.
In January, 75,079 SNAP households (about 16% of all SNAP households in Louisiana) will see an average reduction of $7 in monthly benefits, due primarily to the COLA. Another 118 SNAP cases will close, as the increased income pushes those households over the eligibility limit. The COLA also will trigger reductions in benefits for 7 Louisiana households that receive FITAP.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) receives an electronic file from the Social Security Administration that contains individual benefit amounts. Those income changes have been automatically updated on the SNAP and FITAP cases and will be effective January 2021.
For more information about SNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAP.
For more information about the federal COLA, visit the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov/cola and the Veterans Administration at www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/rates-index.asp#cola.