Lawmakers are working to allow SSI holders to have more money in the bank

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:48 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Can you imagine your employer firing you if you had more than $2,000 in your bank account? That’s kind of the situation for people who collect a supplemental social security check. If their bank account goes over a certain amount, they risk getting cut off.

Lawmakers are working on a bill that would increase the amount of money supplemental social security recipients can have in the bank.

This is the first bill to raise this amount in 40 years.

“I want to be able to do all the same things that every adult does, even though I have down syndrome,” said Emily Demko, an SSI recipient.

Emily Demko is from Albany Ohio and despite having down syndrome she holds 3 jobs but says she can only work so many hours at each or she’s at risk of losing her supplemental income from social security that she needs.

Social security supplemental income is usually for people with disabilities, like Emily. If you collect this income you can’t have over $2,000 in your bank account. An amount that Emily’s mom says put her at a disadvantage.

“It’s just not enough, said Margaret Demko, Emily’s mom. “And if she goes over $2,000, this could cause a nightmare of paperwork for us as a family to make sure she frivolously spends her money down on things she doesn’t need - instead of saving.”

The bipartisan senate effort led by Ohio Democrat, Sherrod Brown and Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, are joining forces to change that.

“We’re coming together to introduce this bipartisan plan,” said Brown. “We want to raise that number from $2000 to 10,000 or $20,000 for couples. No one gets rich off these benefits. The average monthly benefit is $585 individuals.”

Senator Brown says this plan could potentially cost $10 billion over 10 years, adding that there is already support from both houses.