SSI SAVERS Act & The Disabled Citizen | Initiative
The JAYCEES (Junior Chamber) urge Voters & Residents to please help our Young & Old DISABLED Citizens, in supporting the SSI SAVERS Act now pending in Congress.
People with disabilities need an ability to SAVE some modest funding without risking their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under a new, yet pending bill (H.R. 2103) proposed in Congress.
Through the spirit and action In Civic and Community Charity with encouragement of Corporate Philanthropy, The JAYCEES have created a "Petition" http://www.washingtonwatch.com/petitions/sign/54.html on the 'Washington-Watch' Web Site to encourage citizens, nationwide to write their Members of Congress to pass this enhancement and economically ignited bill..
About This Petition - Because current asset limits are so restrictive under the Federal SSI Program - low income seniors and disabled individuals - recipients are forced to spend down savings they may have before they are eligible for SSI assistance, leaving them with only $2,000 (or $3,000 for couples) to help them through any emergencies and their meager entire retirement .
"In most cases, young adults stricken in their early years are relegated to the SSI Program with actually no savings at all", stated Jack Lancellotta, Executive Director of the JAYCEE Education & Library Founation.
" Since resource values have NOT been elevated nor indexed since 1989 and innocent Disabled people are being disqualified for mere and meager savings (i.e. $2,000.00 savings or $1,500.00 life insurance policies), passage of H.R. 2103 - SSI SAVERS ACT - is a necessary start to correct such inequities in our Social security Law", he added!
"Our YOUNG DISABLED Citizens need HELP - not thrown into the maze of a bureaucratic bottleneck that leaves them extraordinarily dependent on limited benefits', Lancellotta pointed out.
For example, he cites a current set of rules that allows a paltry $1,500 for a Burial Contract with only a threshold of $2,000 for basic savings or liquid assets. "How can any person - particularly a Disabled individual - run a tiny home, or modest apartment with such limited ability to save or fund those everyday and needed expenses?", he exclaims.
He further mentions another limitation on automobile ownership where even a car ( that was gifted or inherited) that someone could drive for the Disabled Young person is locked in at a $4,000 value, where inflation and cost of living progression tells us much differently about those circumstances.
" These are archaic regulations that MUST be changed and our vulnerable Disabled population needs our support", he continued.
The SSI Savers Act was introduced on a bipartisan basis by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts and Representative Thomas Petri, a Republican from Wisconsin,
" The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is meant for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities" Congresswoman Tsongas mentions in her office press release.
" Current law requires seniors and disabled individuals to spend down almost all their retirement savings before they qualify for SSI, a policy which often further impoverishes them and can make them permanently reliant on the federal government," she contends.
Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI), who is introducing the legislation with Tsongas said, "Too often government policy gets in the way of personal initiative. The asset limits and savings restrictions faced by many disabled Americans present a difficult choice between work and the loss of benefits. The SSI Savers Act would ease these restrictions and remove many of the disincentives that keep disabled citizens from greater participation in our economic life."
The legislation is touted to sensibly update the savings and assets which seniors and the disabled can retain when qualifying for the SSI Program, which encourages greater savings among recipients and saving taxpayers money in the long term.” For recipients younger than 65, the bill excludes retirement accounts and education savings accounts from counting against the limit.
It's pointed out that without the legislation, young disabled individuals within current limits can be discourage from taking their first job, since first jobs lead to second and third jobs, this initial hump can make the difference between a lifetime of government assistance and financial independence.
For recipients 65 and older, it allows retirement accounts up to $50,000 (single) / $75,000 (couples) to reduce SSI benefits instead of creating an immediate cut off.
It's believed this would not only reduce hunger and poverty among our most vulnerable seniors and disabled people, but could mean they are less dependent on government assistance over the long-run because they have been allowed to maintain some financial security.
Infact, the Central Rhode Island JAYCEES (Junior Chamber) feels the bill should be further amended to included ... a waiver in the law about SSI recipients doing some form of limited, (part-time) 'community service' such as serving on a municipal / state commission or panel that would be exempt for say receiving a small stipend for such pubic service.
They advocate - the proposed bill in its current form - has tremendous merit as a basis for those unfortunate recipients that are relegated to a non-active lifestyle due to their physical or mental disabilities and are further plagued with an almost punishment offset to the real meaning of the SSI Program for the Disabled American Citizen.
Lancellotta went on to say that " H.R. 2103 - SSI SAVERS ACT - would also immediately correct another flaw in this portion of the SSA regulation that provides an equitable inflation adjustment (since this provision is NOT indexed) with assets. This proposal is completely BUDGET NEUTRAL" !
He concluded to please urge your Congress-person to immediately support H.R. 2103 - SSI SAVERS ACT! - Thank You!
Contact JAYCEE Headquarters for further details.