One of the most misunderstood and ignored anti-poverty programs in the United States, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), was designed specifically to help people with disabilities. This community continues to face disproportionately high poverty rates due to ableism and other structural barriers to employment and economic security. SSI provides people with disabilities monthly cash income to help pay for basic living expenses, but the 50-year-old program needs updating.
Before the creation of SSI, people with disparities were often reliant on their families and state governments to provide financial support. Without agency and financial independence, many people with disabilities were forced to depend on their parents or family members until they passed away or were locked away in institutions. And while there are over 1.6 million people with disabilities still locked in institutions, many others have been able to live independently in their communities with the use of SSI and Medicaid.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill.
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