WASHINGTON— Today, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) call for the inclusion of long-overdue updates to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in the Build Back Better reconciliation package. Over 8 million Americans, all of them over the age of 65 or with significant disabilities, rely on SSI benefits to meet their basic needs. Currently, SSI benefits provide a maximum monthly income that is far below the poverty line.
“We have a historic opportunity to help vulnerable individuals in this country that have been ignored for too long. Congress has failed to uphold its responsibility to SSI recipients and those in need by allowing the SSI program to become so outdated that people with disabilities and seniors are struggling to meet their most basic needs” said the Members. “This program was created on a bipartisan basis, but current Republicans have refused to support needed updates. Meanwhile SSI recipients, including over 1 million disabled children, languish. Failure by Democrats to include updates to SSI in this reconciliation package will send a bleak signal to this vulnerable population. We are the party that takes actions to improve the lives of those in need, and we must act. As Congress makes the long-overdue investments needed to build back better for American families and communities SSI must be included.”
The members are calling for making good on President Biden’s commitment to bring the Supplemental Security Income program into the 21st century by increasing benefits to at least 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level; updating the program’s outdated asset and income limits; and eliminating punitive reductions in benefits.