October Update from SOAR Director Julie Stein

Two Senators Unite to Strengthen Retirement Security

In September, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced the first bipartisan, bicameral push in nearly 40 years to improve the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

SSI provides modest cash payments (approximately $585 per month for individuals) to ensure recipients are able to afford basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.

Under current eligibility guidelines, individual recipients cannot exceed $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for married couples), which creates uncertainty and risk for the 5 million Americans who depend upon the program.

“SSI’s arbitrary and outdated rules make no sense. The government shouldn’t punish seniors and Ohioans with disabilities who do the right thing and save money,” said Sen. Brown. “It’s long past time we end these out-of-date government restrictions and allow Americans on SSI to save for emergencies and their futures without putting the benefits they rely on to live at risk.”

Despite participation in the program, approximately 40% of SSI recipients maintain employment, particularly because of inflation, our changing economy, and increased life expectancy for many (but certainly not all) Americans.

“Someone who is disabled should not have to choose between a better job and losing their safety net,” said Sen. Cassidy.  “This is an easy fix that encourages work, allows people to save, and lifts people out of poverty.”

The proposed SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act would, for the first time since 1984, raise those caps to $10,000 and $20,000, respectively, and index them to inflation.

Strengthening retirement security has long been a top priority of Steelworkers, as evidenced by our 2020 and 2022 Your Union, Your Voice (YUYV) membership survey results. 

For an in-depth look at our YUYV membership survey, visit www.uswvoices.org 

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222