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Disability Network a Key Voice Ahead of Senate Vote on Social Security Income

June 26, 2024

The Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) Public Policy and Advocacy Team (PAT) has prioritized informing congressional staff on the ramifications of the bipartisan SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act (SSI SPEA). Specifically, this bill would increase the ability for people with disabilities to have financial savings, from $2,000 to $10,000 for individuals and from $3,000 to $20,0000 for married couples. This allows people with disabilities to save for emergencies and work without putting their benefits at risk.

As part of the DN Spring Meeting and Day on the Hill in early May, roughly 20 visits with key lawmakers and their legislative aides were held with a focus on SSI SPEA.  As part of those visits, LSA-DN members, including Cheryl Wicks and Sara Bartruff from Mosaic, met with leaders of the Senate Finance Committee including committee chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA).  As part of these meetings, we learned that the Senate Finance Committee would hold a hearing in mid-June to discuss how to update and strengthen Social Security disability programs.

LSA-DN meetings were well timed to inform the hearing, including through LSA-DN member follow-ups to those meetings, strengthening our ability to be a trusted resource for Congressional leaders.  The LSA-DN PAT has worked diligently to advocate this important legislation and our efforts will continue in the months ahead.

For more information, contact me at Bkallestad@lutheranservices.org.

Bill Kallestad is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network.