When thinking about retirement savings, most would agree an individual with a savings of only $2,000 is in trouble. For disabled individuals receiving Social Security Disability benefits, $2,000 is the maximum amount of retirement funds they are allowed to ensure the continuation of Supplemental Security Income benefits. A new bill being proposed in Congress, however, may increase this amount.
Arguing that the "archaic regulations must be changed" a republican Representative, who is sponsoring the bill, believes current SSI requirements are restrictive and limiting. Income granted via the SSI program is intended to provide for basic needs including clothing, housing and food. Monthly SSI amounts, however, are often not sufficient to sustain a decent standard of living.
The current income restrictions currently in place for those receiving SSI benefits, force most SSI recipients to live in poverty. The SSI Savers Act would help improve the lives of thousands of disabled individuals by changing the current punitive income restrictions.
Included in the SSI Savers Act are exemptions that would allow individuals to accrue retirement fund assets up to $50,000 for an individual and $75,000 for a couple. Proponents of the bill argue these changes alone would not only help save the government money, but would also serve to help improve the lives and overall standard of living for disabled Americans.
Disabled citizens would no longer have to choose between receiving their much-needed SSI benefits and working part-time to earn additional income. Sadly, if changes to the SSI income requirements are not made, hundreds of thousands of disabled citizens across the United States and in states like Pennsylvania will continue to suffer.
Source: Providence Business News, "SSI Savers Act & The Disabled Citizen Initiative," July 23, 2012