Remove the marriage penalty against disabled couples

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The federal government has some financial programs for disabled individuals. The program which helps people with disabilities that are unable to work because of their disability is called Supplemental Security Income. This program causes difficulty because it has restrictions concerning married people. 

You must be 65 years old or disabled, to be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income. This pays a set amount each month for the disabled person to offset their living expenses. You could also be eligible for Tenncare or other states medical programs for low income families with disabled individuals.   Tenncare and other state medical programs help cover medical care and medical supplies that you may not have coverage by another medical insurance .

If you are disabled and have life threatening health problems you know how vital it is for us to have medical insurance. 

A lot of us with disabilities are unable to work a full time job. or we can't depend on being able to work all of the time . We rely on our Supplemental Security Income checks for financial support and Tenncare or other state medical programs to take the place of a regular job. 

If we get married we lose some of the Social Security benefits.  If we marry another disabled person and both receive Supplemental Security Income, the benefits are still cut. Some couples also lose their medical help, such as from Tenncare . Any income resources you have will likely count against the allowed income benefits you have as a married couple . 

Single individuals are allowed to have up to 2,000 in income resources, but married couples are allowed to have only up to 3,000 in combined income resources before Social Security reduces their benefits. This is really very limited as many people with medical needs have more expensive life needs. Some of their expenses are not covered by medical insurance, such as special shoes, adaptive clothing, ramps and adapted vehicles. They may need mechanical devices to be allowed to go in and out of their homes or get in and out of bed. They may need to hire someone to help them with their daily care.  It makes sense to share these expenses as a couple, but you have much less money to do it, and your aid might be cut off entirely. 

Besides the income resources, Social Security will ask who all you live with and if you help pay for anything with the income you receive and how much someone helps pay for other things in the household . 

With the marriage restrictions, Social Security benefits are more favorable for single people.


This is why many couples with disabilities decide to live together as two single individuals rather than face a possible cut in necessary financial benefit aid.

We need to do something to stop this unreasonable law from affecting any more disabled partner couples.

Please look over this petition and please consider signing or sharing this with everyone you know . Thank you!