Should SSI enhancements be included in the Biden Reconciliation Bill? And why aren’t they? Published by Jane the Actuary View all posts by Jane the Actuary
8 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Who’s Missing From The ‘Build Back Better’ Reconciliation Bill? The Elderly And Disabled Poor””
Who do you think is going to comment? Low income causes digital device. If you have to choose between starving and posting? It is a shame how we treat our low income seniors..
Thanks for posting. Said nothing is going to change. We will still see 80 plus year olds working at Wall Mart to supplement their meager income.
Your point was well taken. Older individuals who are disabled, living below the poverty line, or are especially frail do need supplemental benefits (SSI).
I was initially a bit concerned by the way you described the individuals who may qualify for SSI— ” Here’s a quick refresher on what SSI is: benefits are provided to the elderly (those 65 and over) as well as to disabled individuals with no or very low incomes as a means of topping up Social Security Old-Age or Disability benefits…” To me, this description implies you are suggesting that “the elderly” refers to anyone 65 and older. I don’t think that was your intention, given the focus of your article. However when some of us who are 65+ read your comment about “the elderly (those 65 and over),” they are more likely to take offense. The term is generally associated with the notion of being frail and feeble. “The elderly” is a blanket phrase that groups people into a category. As you are probably aware, the AP Guide recommends using that particular term with care.
I had first read your article on Forbes. Interestingly, last week Forbes published an article about how media needed to watch the use of the term, “elderly.” I do appreciate your advocacy. Please consider expanding your advocacy to help create a more inclusive culture.
BTW, I am nearly 70 and am anything but frail and feeble. I still jog 3-5 miles a day as part of my daily exercise routine. I stay active and am very healthy. I research and write about issues related to positive aging and ageism. I’m also a retired associate professor of communication.
I have a disability and am not in the over 65 category and have been on SSI for awhile. While it is disappointing that they have never made a major overhaul to this particular benefits system in decades, I don’t foresee them ever doing so for the foreseeable future either.
The system is flawed. It always has been. They don’t regularly review or update how the system works. They just look at it when an election cycle is coming up (usually without making promises or saying much, but getting some media, usually just an internet article, attention), just to get our hopes up so that we’ll re-elect them.
The media will say something about politicians looking into SSI or other Social Security Disability benefits possibly getting an overhaul. But, still…nothing gets done, and those of us that need to be on these benefits are stuck in this vicious cycle of “Seeing the news, Wondering if it’s happening this time, Getting our hopes dashed when it falls through yet again, Shrug our shoulders and say Shoulda known better.”
I’ve written to my Representatives a few times about this issue. Heard nothing back. Which tells me something. Unless it’s about the flavor of the month Hot Topic issue in Government, which is usually something everyone is crying about (Take your pick, Gun Control, Mask Mandates, Climate Control, Abortion, The First Amendment, Social Media Going Too Far or Not Far Enough, The Pandemic, Universal Health Care, Immigration, Voting Issues of Any Kind, etc…). You always see a lot about these issues in the news, and at least you see some work on these get done whether it be on TV or on the internet…somewhere.
But where is SSI? This is always going to take a back seat. It never gets put into a high ranking agenda and it never gets pushed through on its own. Never see it on TV, but somewhere lurking in the corner of the World Wide Web. Why? Because the politicians don’t care. And it’s not considered big news to help some of the poorest people in the US who are on government assistance already. Not unless an election is coming up.
So, I don’t see these changes coming through any time soon as a Stand-alone bill. Nor being pushed through with any other bill. If I’m wrong, I’m more than happy to be so. But in my lifetime being on SSI, I have yet to see it.
My husband and I both get SSI and Social Security Retirement Benefits. The SSI amount is the greater of the two. My retirement amount is less than $150 per month and his is less than $300 per month. SSI for both of us is $400.50. We have to live on this paying a mortgage, utilities, heat, insurance ( house and car, no life insurance), food (no food benefits ), and gas for vehicles, to say nothing of non food items which are necessary. My question is what is going to happen to people like us? He is a heart patient and has survived a lung operation not cancer and is remission for lung cancer in the other lung. If things get too bad maybe we will just die and not have to worry about it.
Thank you for addressing the issue. It’s refreshing to see someone cares and is watching.