SSI Restoration Act
Congress is currently considering a bill that would strengthen the SSI program. The SSI Restoration Act would make greatly needed updates to SSI, including but not limited to:
- Increasing the SSI benefit rate to at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Level and adjusting it annually to keep pace with inflation.
- Eliminating “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM) as a type of countable income
- Increasing and inflation-index resource limits for the first time since 1989
- Updating the earned and general income disregards, which have not been adjusted since 1974, and
- Eliminating installment payment requirements and extending the time SSI recipients have to spend down retroactive benefits.
We at McGill & Noble think that these updates to the SSI program, which will help millions of seniors and disabled Americans, are long overdue. If you agree, please reach out to your elected officials and ask them to include the SSI Restoration Act in the upcoming recovery legislation. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative and senators OR click here to find the links to your representatives' websites. You can also click here to send a letter drafted by the National Organization of Social Security Representatives.
Biden Signs Bill Providing Service Dogs for Veterans
On Wednesday, President Biden signed a pilot program into law that will provide service dogs to veterans struggling with PTSD.
The Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members for Veterans Therapy Act (PAWS) requires the VA to implement a five-year program to provide service dogs and training to veterans diagnosed with PTSD.
Find details of the bill from Congress.
Social Security Won't Penalize Disabled People For Saving Stimulus Checks
In a reversal, Supplemental Security Income recipients won't lose benefits even if coronavirus relief payments are still in their bank accounts.
Action Needed for People Receiving SSI with Dependents and Who Do Not File
Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment.
SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul announced on Friday that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes and have qualifying children under age 17 should immediately go to the IRS web page to provide their information. SSI recipients who have dependent children need to act by Tuesday, May 5 in order to receive an additional $500 payment per eligible dependent.
If they do not provide additional information to the IRS by the May 5 deadline, qualifying SSI recipients will need to file a tax year 2020 tax return to obtain the additional $500 per eligible child.
SSI recipients with qualifying children should update their information with the IRS here.
Hearing Offices Continue to Suspend In-Person Hearings
On 4/28/20, SSA has announced that, due to COVID-19 related concerns, hearing offices in North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, George Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennesee will continue to suspend in-person hearings. Hearing office will hold telephonic hearings only through the month of August. Claimants who do not agree to telephone hearings may elect to postpone their hearings until in-person hearings resume.
SSA Offices Remain Closed to Public
SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul announced on Friday that, for the time being, SSA offices will remain closed to the public for face-to-face service, and their employees will continue to work remotely. SSA will continue to provide critical services, and recipients of Social Security benefits will continue to receive their monthly benefit amount if they use Direct Deposit. SSA will post updates on its website at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus