Maine Disability Alerts ACTION ALERT:
Dear Friends of Mainers with Disabilities,
Mon May 1 at 1 pm the HHS committee will have public hearing on LD 1666, "An Act to Modernize the State Supplement to Supplemental Security Income by Updating the State Supplement and Removing Marriage Disincentives"
LD 1666 would do two important things: raise Maine's SSI supplement and eliminate the marriage penalty from Maine's SSI supplement
A. Raising the Payment
About half of state (including Maine) supplement federal SSI payments with a "state supplement". Federal SSI payments to individuals have come up from $140 in 1974 to $914 in 2023 (more than 6.5 times higher). But in Maine the state SSI supplement is still stuck at $10 for an individual.
LD 1666 would raise the statement SSI supplement proportionally with the federal payment. So instead of $10 it would become $65 (so the total of federal + state would go from $924 to $979). It would also index the state supplement to cost of living just like the federal payment is.
B. Eliminating the Marriage Penalty from State SSI Supplement
Under federal law, when married couple both receive SSI, their payment is only 1.5 times that of a single person. This is a significant "marriage penalty" that stands in the way of truly marriage equality.
Maine doesn't have the power to change federal law, but LD 1666 would at least take a stand for disability marriage equality, by setting the state supplement for married couples on SSI at double the amount for a single person (so $130, which is double $65).