Tuesday, June 21, 2016

AB 1584 Increases SSI SSP Benefits

AB 1584
In the 2008, faced with a severe economic recession, cuts were made by the California Legislature and then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger which has had a huge impact on Californians who were aided by Social Security Insurance (SSI) and State Supplemental Payment (SSP). As a result, state assistance program grants were significantly reduced, forcing people who we receiving benefits to live well below the poverty line.

By and large, people receiving SSI and SSP benefits are seniors and other disabled Californians who are not able to work due to a disability. Individuals who are over the age of 65, blind or disabled rely on assistance grants to survive. In an attempt to rectify the situation, Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) worked tirelessly on AB 1584, the Tri County Sentry reports. The bill could bring an estimated 1.3 million Californians above the poverty line.

AB 1584 would reinstate the cost-of-living adjustment under the SSP and amend the maximum aid payments. Assemblymember Brown received unanimous support on the Assembly Floor and now will move on with the legislation in the Senate, according to the article. Brown said that AB 1584 moves forward after three years of hard work and could not have made it “without the tireless advocacy of California’s seniors.”

“As a society we have a responsibility to ensure that our seniors can age with dignity,” said Assemblymember Brown. “AB 1584 is an incremental step toward full restoration of recession era cuts to the SSI/SSP program, and I would like to thank the numerous organizations and individual advocates who made this victory possible.” 

The cost-of-living adjustment would begin on January 1 of the 2017 calendar year, AB 1584 would also require a maximum aid payment that does not equal or exceed 96% of the 2016 federal poverty level based on family size, or 100% of the 2017 federal poverty level based on family size, to be increased to an amount that equals 96% or 100% of the federal poverty level, respectively.

Stephanie Merritt Driscoll is an attorney in Southern California who focuses her practice as a Social Security Disability advocate.

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