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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Submit Your Comments on SSI to the Senate!

Yesterday, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy held a hearing on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The purpose of the hearing was to focus on ways to improve the SSI program. See more information about the hearing, “Policy Options for Improving SSI”

The SSI program is meant to provide financial help to disabled people and older adults to meet their basic needs. However, many of the program rules haven’t been changed in decades, and they do not reflect the cost of living in 2021. Because of this, a majority of people on SSI are living in poverty. The SSI program needs to be updated, and we are hopeful that Congress will take this opportunity to make real change.

The Senate Subcommittee is allowing the public to submit “statements for the record” about this hearing and the SSI program. These statements will let Congress know there is strong support for making improvements to SSI. The statements will help them understand how badly these changes are needed. Statements must be submitted by Tuesday, October 5, 2021. It is important for Congress to hear from all of us, so please share this with your networks, and CILs, please share this with your consumers!

Social Security Works has put together a website with sample statements you can personalize. We have also included sample talking points and information about how to submit a statement below.

Sample talking points:

  • tell them how hard it is to afford things you need because of your benefits being so low
  • tell them how marriage penalties have prevented you from getting married or prevented you and your spouse from being able to afford things you need
  • tell them how your family and friends can’t help you without you getting penalized, or how you have been penalized when you have received such help
  • tell them how asset limits prevent you from saving and / or paying for important expenses
  • tell them that the SSI Restoration Act (S. 2065 / H.R. 3824), introduced this year, includes a lot of important fixes to the SSI program

How to submit a statement for the record:

  • Statements must be submitted in a Word document, single-spaced. They must not exceed 10 pages (and of course, comments do not have to be lengthy to be meaningful).
  • The title and date of the hearing (Policy Options for Improving SSI, September 21, 2021) must be included on the first page of the statement.
  • Your full name and address, or the full name and address of your organization, must be included on the first page of the statement.
  • Statements must be received by Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
  • Statement can be either emailed or mailed. Statements can be emailed to [email protected]. They can be mailed to:

Senate Committee on Finance

Attn. Editorial and Document Section

Rm. SD-201

Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510-6200