Caps on CSRS annuity COLAs


Q. I am the disabled dependent survivor of my father who was a federal employee for  30 years. I collect Social Security Disability Income 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. The state of Maine has a Medicare Savings Plan that I could join but the income limits are very low and very strict. The income limit is $1362  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:

Note: 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? Also as the income limit increases for this Medicare Savings Plan, could I get an increase to match the allotted increase of income limit?
A. No, you cannot get your child survivor annuity capped. If one is due, you will receive it.

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

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