People with disabilities would be able to save up to $5,000 without risking their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, under a new bill proposed in Congress.
The legislation introduced earlier this month would allow individuals to qualify for SSI even if they have as much as $5,000, while couples could bank up to $7,500 while still receiving benefits.
That would more than double current limits which exclude individuals from the federal program if they have more than $2,000 to their names. Married couples are allowed up to $3,000 under existing law.
Those behind the bill say that allowing individuals with disabilities to accrue greater savings will help encourage SSI recipients to pursue work and make it easier for some to eventually transition out of the program.
“The asset limits and savings restrictions faced by many disabled Americans present a difficult choice between work and the loss of benefits. The SSI Savers Act would ease these restrictions and remove many of the disincentives that keep disabled citizens from greater participation in our economic life,” said Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., who introduced the bill along with Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass.
The rules currently in place date back to 1989.