Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) reintroduced on June 8 the “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act” (H.R. 3763). If enacted, the bill would keep the over 8 million Americans who receive SSI benefits from falling below the poverty line by simplifying the SSI claiming process, expanding resources and income limits, setting the minimum benefit at 100% of the federal poverty level, and eliminating punitive reductions in benefits. Currently, the complicated claims process makes it difficult for those in need to receive benefits, and those who are able to access assistance do not receive a livable income.
“Supplemental Security Income is an economic lifeline for over eight million seniors, people with disabilities, and families who rely on the program to survive,” said Representative Schakowsky. “Unfortunately, the income requirements and benefit amounts are operating as if it were still 1972. The financial requirements are so stiff that a growing number of seniors on SSI are homeless. This is unacceptable and even more disturbing when you consider that more than three out of five older adults who rely on SSI are women. As we work to end the COVID-19 pandemic, updating the SSI program is even more essential. The time is now!”
“SSI has long been a last resort and a critical safety net for keeping seniors and those with disabilities from falling into poverty,” said Representative Grijalva. “It’s ridiculous that for almost fifty years, we have largely failed to make basic updates to ensure the program does what it was intended to do – meet basic needs for blind, disabled, and aged people who will otherwise go without. The last year has been especially harsh on these vulnerable populations, and it is time that Congress step up to make these modest but necessary updates to the program.”
“I’ve met with families across my district who depend on SSI to meet their most basic needs,” said Representative Slotkin. “For all the benefits this program has provided, it’s been largely unchanged since its inception in 1972, so the hurdles and restrictions to accessing these benefits are often outdated and burdensome. The SSI Restoration Act is a common-sense approach to help families support independent living of individuals with disabilities and to better enable individuals with disabilities to be independent and work without fear of losing benefits.”
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is set to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.
Learn more about the bill at: https://tinyurl.com/3sn659ma
View the full press release at: https://tinyurl.com/j7s6e4rt