NEW Social Security Update! | HUGE May SSI Benefits Boost! NEW Bill Proposed!

Finally, we are seeing some action going on in Congress right now with our Social Security and SSI beneficiaries in mind. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who was the original proposer of the SSI Restoration Act, also introduced the new bill, called the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act, on Thursday along with Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman. The proposal would essentially raise asset limits that prevent approximately 8 million Americans who receive these federal benefits from having meaningful savings set aside. Currently, the program has a $2,000 cap for individuals and $3,000 for couples. The legislation seeks to raise those limits, which have not been updated since 1989, to $10,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Moreover, the bill also would index those caps to inflation, so they would be adjusted annually, much like Social Security benefits, and based on Consumer Price Index data. In a statement made by Portman, “Rising costs and inflation is hurting all Americans, but especially our nation’s seniors and those with disabilities. Yet the Supplemental Security Income program that serves these vulnerable populations hasn’t been updated in decades and punishes them for trying to save responsibly”. Many SSI beneficiaries are eager to see changes to the program, which has not been modified in a very long time. That includes increasing benefits, which are below or close to the federal poverty level. The average monthly benefit for all recipients is currently $625.50. They also want to see changes to rules that discourage beneficiaries from working by cutting their benefits.

As many of you recall, Senator Sherrod Brown previously proposed a more comprehensive bill, the SSI Restoration Act, which would make those changes to the program. Both senators from Ohio are hoping to get the bill passed as part of other legislation. Brown said he expects unanimous Democratic support, while Portman’s support will help encourage Republican votes. According to Bill Sweeney, senior vice president at AARP, “It is long-past time for Congress to once again update SSI’s asset limits, which have become overly restrictive and prevent the accumulation of even modest personal savings”. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Puerto Rico residents are not eligible for SSI benefits. Senator Brown says that ″SSI should apply to everybody who’s eligible, and it should be national in scope. And when I say national, I really do mean national”.

The efforts to reform SSI are part of Brown’s job to give voice to people in my state who don’t have much of a voice. That includes other issues, like the expanded child tax credit and student loans. Monthly child tax credit payments for up to $300 per child for eligible families expired in December. However, families are still benefiting from that since they filed their tax returns this spring. We’re not giving up on it, Brown said, of efforts to renew the enhanced credit and monthly payments. Moreover, on Tuesday morning, Brown hosted a Senate committee meeting where borrowers shared their experiences with student loans. "I am urging the president to do everything he can”, Brown said of student loan reform considerations. "And I hope we can do something in Congress, but with this 50/50 majority we probably can’t". As you can see, we are finally seeing some movement on some assistance for Social Security, SSI, and SSDI recipients. More updates to come as we watch this bill move forward in Congress.

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