TN 17 (02-03)
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) coordination is a special payment computation that
“coordinates” the Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income (SSI)) and Title II (Social
Security (SS)) COLA increases. This special payment computation provides for COLA
increases to be used in the SSI payment computation for the first and second months
of a COLA increase. Section 1611(c)(3) of the SS Act gives SSA the authority for COLA
As a result of COLA coordination, the increased Title II COLA income for January and
February is used in the SSI payment computation for January and February. This prevents
an SSI payment increase in January and February followed by a decrease in March that
would occur with the standard Retrospective Monthly Accounting (RMA) payment computation.
Coordinate the Title XVI and Title II COLA increases in the Federal SSI and Optional
State Supplementation (OSS) payment computations as follows:
January and February of each year beginning January 1984. See SI 02005.084 regarding COLA coordination and Mandatory Minimum State Supplementation (MMSS.)
August and September 2001. Coordinate the Title XVI and Title II Consumer Price Index
corrections. See SI 02001.020C.6.
Coordination does not apply to the "eligibility test" in January and February.
COLA coordination does not apply if the budget and computation months are the same.
COLA coordination does not apply if the Title II income in the budget month equals
or exceeds the Title II income in the computation month.
The recipient's own Title II income. COLA coordinate an individual only if he/she
has Title II income in both the budget month and computation month.
Any Title II benefit increase that will continue at the same amount (e.g., a change
from widow (er)’s to retirement benefits that causes a new continuous Title II income
Increases due to Title II recomputations.
Title II income used in windfall offset calculations (i.e., unearned income types
“G” and “W”).
A one-time Title II increase effective in January or February. See SI 02005.015.
Title II income of someone whose income is subject to deeming.
Title II income of an ineligible child in a deeming computation.
The Title II income of the dependent of a sponsor.
Use the combined Title II income of the couple for COLA coordination.
COLA coordinate an eligible couple when the combined Title II income in the computation
month equals or exceeds the combined Title II income in the budget month. For COLA
coordination to apply, at least one member must have Title II income in both the budget
month and computation month.
EXAMPLE: Mr. Smith, an SSI recipient, received Title II of $200 in Nov/Dec and $205 beginning
in January. His eligible spouse receives her first Title II in January for $100. COLA
coordination applies in January since the couple’s ongoing Title II of $305.00 is greater than the couple’s Title II income of $200 for November.
Use the January and February Value of the one-third reduction (VTR) and Presumed Maximum
Value (PMV) in the January and February payment computations. (See SI 02005.001E.4)
Use the Title II income increase in the calculation of blind countable income for
January and February.
Subtract the Title II income in January’s BM (November or December) from the January
Title II income.
Add the difference to the BM income to determine the countable income for January.
Subtract the Title II income in February's BM (December) from the February Title II
Add the difference to the BM income to determine the countable income for February.
The Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) in 2001 is $531 per month.
The FBR in 2002 is $545 per month.
Nov Dec Jan Feb
$200 $200 $205 $205
Passes; Countable Income (CI) never exceeds FBR.
$205 January Title II
-$200 Title II in November
+ 5 COLA increase
- 20 General exclusion
$205 February Title II
-$200 Title II in December
+ 5 COLA increase
The FBR in 2001 is $531.
The OSS level in 2001 is $182.
The FBR in 2002 is $545.
The OSS level in 2002 is $205.
Federal ineligibility --In January and February, CI exceeds the FBR. CI is $587.50
in January and February.
OSS eligibility --In each month, excess income is less than the OSS level.
$370 Title II in November
+10 January Title II increase
$360 Countable unearned income
$500 Earned income in November
- 65 Exclusion
$217.50 Countable earned income
$360 +217.50 = $577.50 CI
e. Payment Computation for January
$ 32.50 Excess Income
$ 205.00 OSS level
- 32.50 Excess income
$ 172.50 OSS for January
$370 Title II in December
+10 February Title II ($380) - December Title II ($370)
$510 Earned income in December
$222.50 Countable earned income
$360 + 222.50 = $582.50
$ 37.50 Excess income
- 37.50 Excess income
$ 167.50 OSS for February
The couple FBR in 2001 is $796
The couple FBR in 2002 is $817
Eligibility Test – Federal eligibility; CI never exceeds the FBR. (CI $511.00 in January
and $511.00 in Feb.)
$455 Title II in November
+16 January Title II - November Title II
- 451 CI
$366 Couple's benefit
$183 Each member's benefit
$455 Title II in December
+16 February Title II - December Title II
+60 Union pension in December
- 511 CI
$306 Couple's benefit
$153 Each member's benefit
The individual FBR is $545.
The couple FBR is $817.
Federal eligibility (See SI 01320.400B.)
BM is November.
Use individual's $250 Title II in November.
Use individual's Title II increase from November to January: $12
Do not use ineligible spouse's $6 increase.
Do computation in SI 01320.400C.
BM is December.
Use individual's $250 Title II in December.
Use individual's Title II increase from December to February: $12.
Payment Computation for January
Eligible individual has unchanging pension of $200.00 and full PMV since October
$200.00 pension for November
+ 201.66 (January rate of PMV
- 20.00 general exclusion
163.34 amount due
Eligible Individual has unchanging pension of $200.00 and on-going VTR since October
$200.00 Nov. pension
- 20.00 General Exclusion
+ 181.66 VTR - January rate
- 361.66 CI
183.34 amount due