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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

SSI Limits

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.

Becca R. at Yahoo:
Imagine the year is 1984. A dollar went a lot further than it does today. What cost a dollar then would cost $2.47 in 2020. In 1984, the SSI asset limit was $2,000, and that amount remains the same today.
In 2020, clearly $2,000 doesn’t get you as far now as it did back in 1984. With inflation of 147%, the $2,000 asset limit from 1984 would equate to $4,935 in 2020. The asset limit should be increased to $4,935 and continue to grow with inflation year after year.
Experts say that your emergency fund should be large enough to cover expenses for a minimum of three to six months.

A September Release from Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI):
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) along with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act today, a bill that makes common-sense but impactful adjustments to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which provides assistance to disabled or elderly individuals, but has gone largely unchanged since 1972.

Constituents in the autism advocacy community raised with Slotkin that the SSI program’s outdated restrictions currently prevent individuals with disabilities, and families caring for them, from accessing benefits the program is intended to provide. For instance, because the program has not kept pace with inflation, individuals with more than $2,000 in their savings account would not be eligible for benefits under this program.

“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,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin said. “I’m so proud to introduce a bill that can help ease the burden these restrictions are currently imposing on families trying to access benefits through this program. This bill brings the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program’s outdated limits up to speed with inflation -- a common-sense adjustment that will make a huge difference for individuals and families caring for someone with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.”


"Autism Alliance of Michigan is a statewide professional organization serving individuals with Autism and Related Disabilities across the lifespan. The limitation on SSI has been a barrier for so many of our citizens living with disability in their pursuit of employment options. We applaud Representative Slotkin for introducing this important legislation and encourage others to support her efforts moving it forward,” said Colleen Allen, President and CEO.
 The Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act:
  • Updates the amount individuals can earn from work to $399 a month, to encourage work from those who are able.
  •  Updates the amount of general income a person can make to $123 per month (general income is money received through means other than work).
  •  Repeals the marriage penalty and updates the amount of resources a person or couple can have to $10,000 and $20,000 respectively, so people can save for emergencies.
  •  Repeals the penalty for financial, food, and housing support from family.
  •  This bill streamlines and simplifies the claims process and restores a program that plays a pivotal role in the security of millions of Americans including over a million children.