12 C
New York
Friday, April 19, 2024

Supplemental Security Income benefits haven’t changed in years. Now there’s a push in Congress to alter that

  • Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, provides monthly checks to aged, blind and disabled Americans.
  • About 8 million people receive those benefits, which have not been updated in years.
  • Now there are efforts on Capitol Hill to modify the rules so that beneficiaries receive bigger payments and no longer have to contend with outdated regulations.

Sinenkiy | iStock | Getty Images

Federal benefits for aged, blind and disabled Americans have not been updated in years.

Now, some lawmakers and advocates are pushing for changes to the program — called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI — to be part of legislation being promoted in Congress.

However, it is still unclear whether that will happen.

Proposed SSI reforms were not included in an initial budget proposal by House Democrats.

Yet this week a Senate Finance subcommittee held the first hearing on the program since 1998, a sign that Senate leadership, particularly Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., plan to keep fighting for it.

More from Personal Finance:
The child tax credit encourages parents to work, study finds
Why renters are struggling so much now
What debt ceiling woes could mean for Social Security benefits

The hearing was led by Brown, who in June reintroduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act.

But hopes to get sweeping SSI reform included in the package could be dashed as lawmakers work to whittle the total cost of the Build Back Better package down from $3.5 trillion.

However, there could be room for more incremental changes to the program, which largely hasn't been touched since 1972.

Brown recently said he plans to push for including as much of the proposed SSI reforms as possible. At a minimum, that would include raising the limits on assets beneficiaries can have, he said.

"The Senate should take the opportunity to add some of these important SSI improvements into the Build Back Better legislation, even if the package cannot accommodate the full SSI Restoration Act," Kathleen Romig, senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said during testimony at the hearing.

The SSI Restoration Act would freshen the program's rules, many of which have been in effect for years and are outdated, advocates argue.

Related Articles

Latest Articles