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November 23, 2011

SSI Allowed More Savings

A new bill introduced in Congress would allow people on Supplementary Security Income (SSI) to save at least $5,000 and not be taken out of the program.  Currently, individuals are dropped from the program if they save $2,000+.  They wouldn’t lose benefits if this bill were passed.

The legislation was introduced earlier this year.  It would be more than double the current numbers if passed.  Under the new bill, married couples could also save $7,500 and not lose SSI benefits.

“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.

Activists behind the bill say allowing people with physical/mental challenges to save more would be a stronger encouragement for them to look for employment.  It would also assist in a smoother transition off of SSI benefits.  The current guidelines of the SSI program were started in 1989.

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