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White House Urged To Raise SSI Limits


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A federal agency is calling on the president to raise the asset limit imposed on people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income for the first time in decades.

In a letter to President Barack Obama this week, the chair of the National Council on Disability, Jeff Rosen, said significant updates to the SSI program are needed.

Currently, individuals receiving SSI benefits can have no more than $2,000 to their name at any given time, a limit that’s been in place since 1989. The council is asking the president to increase the amount to $10,000 with allowances for the figure to continue to rise with inflation. Additionally, the agency wants to see adjustments made to the way that SSI benefits are impacted when an individual earns money from a job, for example.

“SSI beneficiaries face the most severe levels of poverty of any group of Social Security beneficiaries,” Rosen wrote on behalf of the council, an independent federal agency charged with advising Congress and the president on disability issues. “We urge you to incorporate common-sense program reforms to SSI designed to improve beneficiary well-being and enhance the ability of SSI beneficiaries to participate in the workforce.”

The need for change is particularly urgent, Rosen said, with individuals who have disabilities disproportionately impacted by the sequester and other federal budget cuts.

“It is vital that current law be altered to allow SSI beneficiaries to save in order to blunt the impact of current and future cuts,” he wrote, calling the reforms “long overdue.”

Beyond SSI, the National Council on Disability also urged Obama to make it easier for people with disabilities to keep Medicaid coverage even as their income rises or if they move across state lines.

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment on the recommendations.

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Comments (52 Responses)

  1. Martin Lagowski says:

    There is a great need for radical change for all SSI recipients.I know this because I’m just one of the many held in place and poverty.These antiquated laws are a horror story to live through.Even with miniscule cost of living raises.If your on a Section 8 type of program.That raise goes to your landlord next year.After each years recertification of one’s year’s end lease.So your rent goes up and there’s still no financial gain.No extra monies to even get a haircut.This is appauling!And if you should be able to reach any kind of savings towards or even that $2,000.00 limit.They pull your food stamps,MassHealth and your SSI.Until you have proven a spend down of those savings!So basically if you save, you lose!There’s got to be protections put into place so that the State cannot do this to impoverished people!This leads to a constant dealing within oneself of mental self loathing, anxiety,depression and illness.And unfortunately for some extreme cases suicide.Just to let you know my yearly income due to total disability is $10,264.68.I could give you a total breakdown of that for you.But it would start to depress me!And by the way.I would love to have some kind of work.To take my mind of of all this.But unfortunately again The Massachusetts Rehabilitation needs a total restructuring as well!Try and get some job training and work through them sometime!

  2. Martin Lagowski says:

    I’ve gone through all the comments here.And it’s gratifying to note all of us are being screwed by our government!Yet as we all agree this is happening.What and where do these comments go?And what do they actually accomplish towards getting something done?If the increase goes through people.We’ll lose everything if we save any amount!This has only been noted by a few out there!A protection of this has to be put in place people!How are all of us that are in the same raft going to make this happen?Speak out people on this!It’s important!And you Disability Scoop have a responsibility here as well.If you put the story forth and ask for comments on your articles.Aren’t you a representative for we disabled.And therefore should supply a place for our comments to be heard?

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