July 12, 2021 at 11:00 am #27500
Hey all. This has been circulating around social media for the last week or so, and I wanted to bring it to your attention too.
Basically, a new SSI Restoration Act of 2021 was introduced in the US last month that aims to eradicate disabled poverty by:
Raising monthly income to the poverty level for the disabled (a 30% increase)
Change the $2,000 monthly asset limit to $10,000
Remove penalties for getting help from families
Remove the marriage ban
For a full explanation of this new act, you can visit: https://justiceinaging.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SSI-Policy-Issue-Brief-Updated-2021.pdf
These requested updates to SSI’s program sound incredibly hopeful and would have a great impact on the disability community. If you wish to get involved, you can reach out to your state’s representatives asking them to get behind this act.
July 12, 2021 at 11:05 am #27502DeAnn RKeymaster
July 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm #27510Kelly MillerParticipant
Alyssa, thanks so much for posting this! It’s a spark of hope that’s long overdue.
July 13, 2021 at 3:09 pm #27515Angela J.Participant
So are they increasing the monthly amount SSI recipients receive, and if so what’s the new amount? Also when it says married couples what exactly does that mean? Does that mean two disabled adults who are married or does that also include one disabled adult married to a healthy adult? Sorry for all the questions I’m naive with all this stuff.
July 13, 2021 at 5:52 pm #27518
Oh don’t be sorry! To be completely honest, I just recently learned about it too, so I don’t know all the details. But, yes. I believe they would be raising the amount to meet the Federal Poverty level and would adjust that annually. As of right now, it hasn’t be adjusted in 30 years.
Removing the marriage ban would be for both disabled and interabled couples! Who you marry would not matter.
Let’s hope it passes in Congress!
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Alyssa Silva.
July 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm #27549
Oh man, that would be freaking awesome. The current limits are extremely oppressive and if it weren’t for ABLE accounts, we would be totally screwed in terms of saving money.
July 18, 2021 at 10:52 pm #27551
Seriously! Even with ABLE accounts, we’re still so restricted. It’s so sad.
July 19, 2021 at 2:46 pm #27558TammyParticipant
Anyone here with an able account… Could you tell me a little bit more about it? I’ve been hearing about it and I’m trying to find time to look into it but I would like to know firsthand from people who already have one, what it’s like. Like you can’t use the money however you please. You can only use it to spend money on food and housing and other care needs. Would love to get some people’s inside and input on this kind of an account.
July 19, 2021 at 5:16 pm #27559
July 20, 2021 at 8:36 am #27560
I’ve had an ABLE account for a few years now. I really haven’t used it much in terms of withdrawing. I mainly just been saving here and there. Here’s a list of ways you are allowed to use the money straight from the Social Security Administration.
- Qualified disability expenses (QDE) are expenses made for the benefit of the designated beneficiary and related to his or her disability, including, but not limited to:
- Employment training and support;
- Assistive technology and related services;
- Prevention and wellness;
- Financial management and administrative services;
- Legal fees;
- Expenses for ABLE account oversight and monitoring;
- Funeral and burial; and,
- Basic living expenses.
While I don’t believe there should be any restrictions on how you can use your own money, I think this is a pretty broad list with plenty of room for interpretation. For example, I’m planning to buy new computer soon. I’m calling that “Assistive technology and related services.” I think you could even construe a new TV to fit under “assistive technology,” especially if you get a smart TV with features that make it easier for us to use.
Also note “but not limited to” in the text above. I’m not a lawyer, but I think you can make a pretty good case for a lot of things being related to quality of life. And while I’m not suggesting to break the rules, I think the oversight is extremely limited (unlike SSI, where they check your bank account balance monthly).
July 21, 2021 at 11:39 am #27576
Blake, if you don’t mind me asking, what state is your ABLE account located in? I’ve wanted to open one for a while now but I think I’m on information overload about it and can’t make a decision. I was toying between Ohio, California, Virginia, or my home state of Rhode Island.
July 22, 2021 at 10:52 am #27577
I use Ohio’s version (https://www.stableaccount.com/). I think it was the only one available to me at the time because my state, Mississippi, doesn’t have an ABLE account program.
I was happy with it. That said, they recently switched to a different financial institution and the web app is totally different now. I haven’t interacted with it much yet so I can’t say how good or bad it is.
July 22, 2021 at 6:33 pm #27581
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