People with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income would be allowed to keep substantially more assets and would no longer be penalized for marrying under a new proposal. Currently, in order to retain benefits, SSI recipients generally can have no more than $2,000 to their name at any given time. Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are looking to significantly increase that ceiling, with a bill introduced this month that would raise SSI’s asset limit to $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for couples.
In addition, the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act, or H.R. 4280, would increase the amount of disregarded income that beneficiaries can take in each month. And, the bill would repeal penalties for marrying or receiving financial, food and housing assistance from family members. Backers say the time has come to update Social Security’s SSI program, which has remained largely static since 1972.
“This issue is one I have heard about directly from autism advocates and families in our district, particularly parents preparing for children with disabilities to transition into adulthood,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., who introduced the measure along with Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz. “This bill brings the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program’s outdated limits up to speed with inflation — a common-sense adjustment that will make a huge difference for individuals and families caring for someone with disabilities.”