Hey Guys, Kile here. I have some exciting news about an issue that many fellow SUFU members have talked about over the past few years…. The Marriage Penalty! Right now, if two people who receive SSI want to get married, their SSI income is reduced and their household income is combined. This stops a lot of us from getting married. Regina Bowie talked about this in her blog on relationships. (If you missed it, you can read about it here….)
For years we have talked about how it is not fair for US and we should be allowed to get married and not have a penalty for it. People with I/DD already live on very fixed incomes and can barely afford to live the lives they have right now. Some people in New York have gotten their legislator to sponsor a bill that would eliminate and remove this penalty so that WE can get married if we choose without worrying that we will lose SSI. The bill is H.R. 1529 and you can follow it through congress by clicking here.
Last week I shared this information with the Chapter Rep Committee and I asked the reps to bring this back to chapters to talk about. But what SUFU really needs is for all of our members to TAKE ACTION! If having the right to get married without losing SSI is important to you, here is what you can do.
1. Contact our Congressional Legislators and ask them to sign on to sponsor H.R. 1529 by calling, emailing and writing.
• Senator Susan Collins Contact Page
• Senator Angus King Contact Page
• Representative Chellie Pingree Contact Page
• Representative Jared Golden Contact Page
2. Before you contact, prepare! We have helped by creating a form letter that you can use and make your own. If you need help you can call Laurie Coldwell at SUFU.
Another great resource on this bill is an article that was published on March 12, 2019 on disabilityscoop.com You can read the article here.
The more we Speak Up the greater impact we can have on not just lives of people in Maine but across our country.
Hear me out… If you have a disability and you want to get married, and you are afraid your benefits will be reduced, stand up with me and spread the word. Eliminate the marriage penalty tax.