Government benefits affected by federal cost of living adjustment

Halen Doughty

Some Louisiana residents could see a decrease in their government assistance benefits as a result of a federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), according to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), and Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) would be affected by the change.

The 2018 COLA changes will result in an increase in some monthly benefits. Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Administration (VA) benefits will see a two percent increase. But that increase in benefits will affect eligibility and federal benefits for some households in Louisiana. About 21 percent of SNAP households in Louisiana will see an average monthly reduction of $6.50 in benefits. It may also trigger reductions in benefits for some Louisiana households that receive FITAP or KCSP benefits.

The COLA for Social Security and veterans benefits determines the level of benefits from RSDI, SSI, and VA. It will go into effect this month and recipients will start to see the changes in benefits right away. SSI changes will be seen on December 29, VA benefits on December 31, and RSDI changes in January.

The Louisiana DCFS receives a file containing individual benefit amounts from the Social Security Administration. The income changes have been updated automatically on the SNAP, FITAP, and KCSP cases, and they will take effect in January 2018.

For more information on the changes, visit the Social Security Administration at and the Veterans Administration at

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