Survivor annuity cap


Q: I am the disabled dependent survivor of my father who was a federal employee for 30 years. I collect SSDI and Medicaid. Collecting the disabled child survivor annuity would put me over the unearned income limit to collect medicaid and I can’t afford insurance. Maine has a Medicare Savings Plan that I could join, but the income limits are very low and very strict. The income limit is $1,362 per month. I spoke with some legal specialists in the field of medicaid and they said that my SSDI COLAs would not affect my eligibility for this Medicare Savings Plan but the COLAs from the annuity would. I read somewhere online this quote:
“A benefit will not be increased if it would cause the annuitant to receive payments in excess of any cap amount specified by law.”
Does this mean I could get my annuity COLAs capped to remain eligible for this Medicare Savings Plan which is essentially the same thing as Medicaid?

A: If you are entitled to a cost-of-living adjustment, there is no provision in law that would permit your survivor annuity to be capped. The COLA would be applied.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply