How Disabled Americans Are Pushing to Overhaul a Key Benefits Program
This beneficiary once said she was too sick to leave home for two months, and because her daily expenses declined, her bank account balance fell from just under $ 2,000 to 2,135 $ without her realizing it. When the Social Security Administration found out, she had to repay her full SSI benefit for those months, which took two years.
#DemolishDisabledPoverty organizers also want Congress to increase funding for home and community services; eliminate a law that allows companies to pay certain disabled employees much less than the minimum wage; and update Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, which is separate from SSI but has many similar limitations.
Melanie Waldman, 30, who suffers from lupus, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and an amputated arm, has been unemployed since quitting a job she said “destroyed my body.” She receives about $ 800 per month from SSDI
She has theater training and said she wanted to pursue roles, but should charge less. She is entitled to $ 10,000 per year in outside income, and prior to being a member of the SSDI, she earned about $ 13,000 as an actress. Even though SSDI pays less, it cannot afford to lose it as it would mean losing health care.
Mr Cortland said the current legislative push has focused on the ISS because it can be changed by budget reconciliation, while the SSDI, by law, cannot. But he stressed during last week’s virtual forum that advocates will also work to improve SSDI.
The forum, hosted by the Century Foundation, included Mr Bowman and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts, both of whom urged the estimated 17,000 people watching to lobby Congress and the White House.
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