Senators Join Effort To Increase SSI Asset Limits
A push to allow people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income to keep more assets and remove a penalty affecting those who marry is gaining steam.
Members of the U.S. Senate introduced legislation last week that would significantly increase the amount of money that SSI beneficiaries can retain.
Under current law, individuals receiving SSI generally cannot have more than $2,000 at any given time. The figure sits at $3,000 for couples.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
The measure known as the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act, or S. 2753, would raise that cap to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples.
In addition, the legislation would increase the level of income that SSI beneficiaries can take in each month while removing penalties for those who are married and ensuring that couples receive double the benefit rate of individuals.
A similar proposal is already under consideration in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, called the existing limits “arbitrary and out-of-date,” noting that they have not changed since 1989. He said the limits keep people from “saving for emergencies and punish people who want to earn a little extra money to provide for themselves and their families.”
“That’s why I’m introducing legislation to update the law,” Brown said.
Co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Robert Casey, D-Pa.