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President Obama asked to make SSI income limit $10,000

In terms of economics, when inflation occurs, the buying power of a single dollar decreases. But consider this fact: since 1989, the maximum amount of money a recipient of Supplemental Security Income can have is $2,000. That means that Wisconsin residents who have more than that amount are ineligible to receive SSI benefits.

In the late 1980s, $2,000 got you a lot more than it does now. That is why the National Council on Disability, which advises the president and Congress on disability-related matters, has asked President Obama to increase the asset limit for SSI recipients.

Jeff Rosen, who chairs the council, wrote a letter to the president, urging him to reform the SSI system and make the asset limit $10,000. The request is especially urgent, given that the sequester is now underway and SSI recipients are likely to be hurt by the severe budget cuts.

As Rosen pointed out, "SSI beneficiaries face the most severe levels of poverty of any group of Social Security beneficiaries."

The council also called for changes in the way SSI payments are affected when a beneficiary starts to work. The president was also urged to find ways of letting disabled Americans retain their Medicaid coverage in the event that their income increases or when they move to another state.

It remains unclear how President Obama will respond to the letter. What is certain is that SSI benefits are vital for Americans with disabilities. Despite some of the inaccurate and biased opinions floating around these days, no one is getting rich from Social Security benefits.

Wisconsin residents with disabilities would do well to apprise themselves of their options for ensuring the success of their SSI applications.

Source:, "White House Urged To Raise SSI Limits," Michelle Diament, April 19, 2013

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