NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities

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SSI Restoration Act of 2013 Positive Step in Debate Over Benefits for America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

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This bill will help older Americans and individuals with disabilities meet their basic living needs.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) supports Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in his dedication to improving the lives of low-income older Americans and individuals with disabilities. Rep. Grijalva recently introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2013 (H.R. 1601), which includes long overdue efforts to modernize the SSI program.

“Rep. Grijalva and House co-sponsors should be congratulated for their leadership in presenting the SSI Restoration Act. Over the past four decades, SSI has become the most important government program for bare subsistence for the poorest of our aged, blind, and disabled citizens, and yet, the allowable income and resource standards are locked at 1972 levels while inflation has significantly reduced the value of these amounts,” said NAELA member Neal Winston, CELA, an expert in SSI and Social Security.

More than 8 million Americans rely on SSI for their daily survival. Unfortunately, a growing number of older SSI recipients are homeless because of these outdated financial restrictions. The SSI Restoration Act seeks to align the SSI program with modern day financial realities by updating the income disregard and the resource limit and repealing the in-kind support and maintenance provision and SSI transfer penalty.

“Modernizing these benefits to align with today’s cost of living will help improve the quality of life for older Americans and individuals with disabilities. SSI is a critical benefit that protects low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities from absolute poverty but the current benefits and transfer rules make it too difficult for these individuals and their families to handle unpredictable costs and adequately plan for the future. This bill will help older Americans and individuals with disabilities meet their basic living needs,” said NAELA President-Elect Howard Krooks, CELA, CAP.

The SSI Restoration Act enjoys wide support from several leading disability and aging organizations and NAELA joins members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations in advocating for this important legislation. NAELA urges members of Congress to support Rep. Grijalva’s modest effort to help older Americans and individuals with disabilities.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
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