The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly payments to about 8 million low-income aged, blind, and disabled people. While the program is a lifeline for many, it also contains outdated provisions that exclude millions, reduce payments, and needlessly inflate administrative costs. For example, SSI’s asset eligibility limits have not been updated since 1989, and the maximum annual SSI benefit is just three-quarters of the federal poverty level.
The Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act, H.R. 3824/S. 2065, would simplify program administration; raise the SSI’s monthly payment maximum to 100% of the federal poverty level and index payments to inflation; and remove provisions that penalize SSI beneficiaries who receive in-kind help from friends, get married, work part-time, or receive income from pensions or Social Security.
The SSI was originally intended to ensure “the nation’s aged, blind and disabled people would no longer have to subsist on below-poverty-level incomes.” However, SSI’s meager payments, archaic eligibility limits, and byzantine penalties all act to trap people in poverty while increasing administrative costs. Urge your representatives to support the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act and revitalize this essential lifeline for elderly and disabled people.