The Supplemental Security Income program is a lifesaver for many older and disabled Americans, but the program has undergone no modifications in recent years even as the number of beneficiaries receiving these payments has ballooned. Now lawmakers are proposing changes to the program that would benefit recipients.
Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio called for reforms to the Supplemental Security Income program to make it more accessible as well as more beneficial to the millions who rely on these payments every month. Currently 8 million Americans receive Supplemental Security Income benefits every month. Most of these are older Americans are those who suffer from disabilities. The average Supplemental Security Income beneficiary belongs to a lower economic class, or has other disadvantages in terms of access to resources which make it difficult for him or her to meet daily needs. These payments are provided for people to meet basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. Disabled children may also be eligible for SSI.
In recent weeks, a Senate subcommittee has been holidng hearings on the proposed reforms to the program. Lawmakers have introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act which aims to increase the benefits that are paid out to Americans. It is hoped that the reforms will be included on the Build Back Better package, but this may not happen due to cost concerns.
However, it is possible that the changes that are envisioned in the Restoration Act will come to fruition. One of those reforms would include a lift of the cap on assets that a person can own in order to remain eligible for benefits. For example, the law requires that a person have no more than $2,000 in income or assets to be eligible for benefits, an amount that has remained unchanged since the 1980s. Other such conditions make the program inaccessible to many who would benefit from the program.