Some major changes to monthly benefits for SSI beneficiaries. As we just got a new report out of the Urban Institute. I have all the details and everything you need to know right here on this topic. As I am your one and only daily advocate and I am very much dedicated to you and this community to doing all the research. Boil it all down into these short topics so that you can get the latest details and updates hot off the wire as this information is being released.
All right. So as we all know, SSI, otherwise known as Supplemental Security Income, is an incredibly important program. And honestly, it is vitally important for about 8 million beneficiaries who rely on these monthly benefits as the sole income source for many, many people. As a result of that, there’s this new report that was just released out of the Urban Institute, which quick side note, anytime that the Urban Institute writes a report or speaks on anything or even the group like the Senior Citizens League, we certainly want to listen very, very closely. These are big, powerful advocacy groups.
And anytime that they come out with a report or they’re speaking on something, we want to listen very closely. They are on our side and they continue to come up with some very good information here. And ultimately, they are working as well to get these benefits reformed, raised, and to help out many, many people. So this is good stuff. And we always want to listen closely to the Urban Institute as well as the Senior Citizens League and a variety of other large advocacy groups out there.
So I just want you to be aware of that. So any time you hear about that, you certainly want to listen very closely. All right. So anyway, let’s talk about this new report, because just like so many times that we’ve talked about here, they are also talking about SSI and how incredibly important it is to reform this program and actually boost these benefits, as well as make some major changes to this program, because realistically, it has not been updated since this program was actually incepted way back in 1972. Yeah, 50 years ago was when this program was actually started.
And no major changes have taken place on SSI since then. Let me ask you, do you think after 50 years something should need a little bit of updating, or do you think 50 years is totally fine? I mean, thinking about like, a house or a car or even us humans people, we should probably go to the doctor or maybe do a little repair on a house or maybe do a little tune-up on a car after probably 50 years. Right. So it’s probably the same thing with this program right here.
And honestly, looking at all the numbers and everything within the SSI program, yeah, it’s very clear this program needs some major reform. Anyway, let me talk you through some of the details on this thing. So as of right now, as we all know, once again, the maximum benefit in 2022 is $841. Well, again, this is significantly below the federal poverty line, which is a little bit over $1,130 a month right now. So we’re off by $291 a month.
So, yeah, it’s a lot that we’re off. So almost $300 a month is where benefits should be $300 more higher. So anyway, we can get into that more here in just a second the details on that. But I just want to shake out some of the details on this. Now, if you’re an SSI beneficiary, you probably also know you can have up to $20 of unearned income each and every month.
If you have anything more than that, they start garnishing your benefit, as in if somebody gives you like a bag of groceries or maybe a tank of gas or anything like this, you’re supposed to report it. Seriously, are you really going to report that? And honestly, is that like how the world should be working right now? Is that how we should really be living in this country? If you get a bag of groceries from maybe a family member, a friend, somebody like this, you’re supposed to report it.
I mean, honestly, seriously, that just seems nuts to me. But again, that’s the rules that they currently have in place. Again, significantly out of date. At the same time, you can have up to $65 of earned income every single month. And now the first $65 is not held against you, right?
They don’t hold that against you for it to have $65 of earned income. But here’s the problem. $65 again, let’s be Ruth ourselves. We don’t want to minimize $65, but at the end of the day, what does $65 get you any more these days? Maybe two tanks of gas, maybe a tank and a half of gas, if you’re lucky.
Maybe about two bags of groceries. I mean, honestly, $65 is not much these days anymore. However, this number was put in place back in 1972. I want to be honest with you. I was not around in 1972.
That’s about 1012 years before my time. My point is 1972, $65 was way more valuable than $65 today. At the time. In 1972, $65 was probably a pretty decent amount of money. But today, $65 is not much.
You know what I mean? $65 is very different for everybody. But the fact is it does not get you much anymore these days because of all of this massive inflation. So here’s the deal. These numbers, the $20 of unearned income that you can have on a monthly basis, and the $65 of earned income that you can have that is not held against you has not been indexed to inflation.
However, in accordance with this report out of the Urban Institute, they’re saying if this would have been indexed to inflation, these numbers would be more like $128 on a monthly basis versus $20 each month and $416 every single month versus $65 every single month if these were just indexed to inflation. So one simple little adjustment would adjust these benefits in a significant way, right? Well, let me lay out a few other things that are out there right now. Now, as an individual, you can have up to $2,000 in assets, right. So you can have $2,000 in a bank account or things like this.
Anything more than that, they start to garnish your benefit. Well, as a married couple, you can have $3,000, again, in assets or anything more than that, they start to garnish your benefit. You probably know this, right? You got to walk a very fine line. If you have anything more than that, it can be kind of a painful situation.
Well, the deal is, again, these numbers are way behind the times. So here’s what’s interesting in the Urban Institute’s report, again, calling on the SSI Restoration Act to actually reform this program in a big, big way. And they talk about the Democratic senators who brought the SSI Restoration Act, and they talked about it maybe about ten months or so ago is when they brought this thing back and they were really pushing on it. Now, here’s what happened. This was supposed to be pushed through and it was supposed to be part of the buildback butter agenda.
However, we also recognize that late last year, the build-back butter agenda was basically put on the back burner and it was put on pause. However, so far now in 2022, we’re a handful of months into the year so far, they’re still trying to revitalize a new version of the build back better agenda. Well, as we’ve recently understood, based on some recent reports and some things that were mentioned out there, according to what they were talking about, is potentially they were going to be bringing the SSI Restoration Act as well as the Social Security 2100 to the floor in the Chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate sometime this month in April 2022. Well, as of so far, we’re about a little over a week into the month so far, and nothing has been done quite yet. But again, we’re crossing our fingers that Congress will be bringing this to the floor because, again, this is a program out there that a lot of people are recognizing as in Senate Democrats as well as a lot of people out of the House of Representatives.
All of these lawmakers are understanding, hey, guys, check it out. We’re looking at SSI. It hasn’t been reformed since 1972 when this program was actually put in place. We’re 50 years behind the times here. We should probably update this program and actually make sure that all these beneficiaries are actually getting reasonable benefits, as in at least the federal poverty line in benefits, which, by the way, would calculate out to about $1,132 every single month, would be your benefit.
So you’d get a raise of almost $300 every single month if that was just the only thing that they did to change this program. Right. So on an ongoing annualized basis, right now the government pays out about $60 billion toward SSI beneficiaries in these monthly benefits. $60 billion is not that much. I’m just being real with you.
$60 billion in the eyes of the federal government is not that much considering this. Remember this about let me say, maybe two weeks ago or so, the President was out with his 2023 fiscal year budget. Remember that? I talked about it in a couple of topics. His fiscal year budget for 2023 is $5.8 trillion.
So let me ask you, is $60 billion a lot compared to 5.8 trillion? The answer is no. $60 billion is literally a drop in the bucket when it comes to nearly $6 trillion. So the point of the matter is if they even raised benefits up to 100% of the federal poverty line, yes, it would raise benefits for a millions of beneficiaries. It would bring people up to the federal poverty line.
But at the same time, it would cost the federal government maybe another $30 billion a year.
So realistically, it’d be about actually, it wouldn’t even be $30 billion. So maybe at the end of the day, throughout the entire year to make sure that, say, 8 million beneficiaries are living at the poverty line and increasing their standard of living in a big, big way, it would only cost the federal government about $90 to $100 billion every single year. Again, a small drop in the bucket considering we’re talking about $6 trillion as the federal budget kind of get what I’m saying here. So it’s maybe God, what is that? I mean, I didn’t even run the math on that.
It’s like a teeny tiny percentage. I guess I could run the calculations and tell you in a separate topic. But I mean, honestly, it is a very small percentage of the total amount of money that the federal government is looking to spend. So anyway, some pretty good stuff here out of the Urban Institute. Again, a very good report out of the Urban Institute.
But anytime that they speak with their reports or any time that they come up with anything mentioning Social Security, seniors, the elderly, people with disabilities, SSDI, VA, or anything like this, we certainly want to listen very closely because they are a huge advocate, I’m your one and only daily advocate. I’m very much dedicated to you, and we’ve got to stick together through this time. But honestly, when we come across these reports, it’s some pretty good stuff. So the point of the matter is, hopefully Congress will be doing something relatively soon. And according to what I’ve been reading on this and the reports, they still want to get something done before the midterm elections, because here’s the deal.
If they did what they’re supposed to be doing, Congress, if they actually do what they’re supposed to be doing as the representatives of basically all of us in the States, the districts, all these different areas around the country, and they actually reformed SSI, it would be a huge, huge win for about 8 million people. Well, let’s just look at it from a voting standpoint. Again, I don’t want to make this a political statement or anything like that because I’m not taking sides with this but I’m just saying this much so far we know that the midterm elections are coming up a little bit later this year. All they would have to do is reform SSI and they could probably I mean obviously they would change the lives of about 8 million people instantaneously but at the same time they could almost lock in 8 million votes without even really trying that hard if they really wanted to. By just simply changing SSI boosting benefits and making the standard of living for these 8 million people much better.
You know what I mean? It would not be that hard for them to do and they could secure a lot of votes really fast if they just wanted to do so. They know what to do. It’s just a matter of actually doing it. So anyway, hope this topic helps you out again.
I am watching everything closely as it pertains to the Social Security 2100 as well as the SSI restoration act as well as stimulus checks and so much more. As far as what’s going on out there right now as I do get more information of course I’ll be right back here for you, share this topic with your friends and your social media and go back, I hope this update helps you out all right, I’ll see you guys. bye