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October 30 marked the 50th anniversary of the Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) Program!

SSI provides a monthly check for persons with disabilities and qualifies the individuals for Medicaid, called MassHealth in our state. It’s a lifeline.

The rules for the modest monthly benefit don’t allow savings or assets to exceed $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for married couples. These rules haven’t been updated since the 1980s.

L-R: Senator Sherrod Brown (D) and Senator Rob Portman (R), sponsors of the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act

Approximately 60% of recipients rely on SSI as their only source of income.  In 2017, the Social Security Administration estimated that approximately 19% of working-age SSI recipients possessed an intellectual disability.  The present asset cap deprives them of the ability to save to build a better life.

The bipartisan “SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act” (S4102), sponsored by Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R), would update the asset limits for SSI beneficiaries, enabling them to have more savings in case of an emergency without affecting their benefits.

The bill will amend those caps to $10,000 and $20,000, respectively, and index them to inflation moving forward. 

Tell Congress: Support the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act NOW! (via The Arc US)

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