Low SSI/SSP grant levels leave many California seniors and people with disabilities struggling to meet their basic needs.
In California, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), combined with the State Supplemental Payment (SSP) for food, is a program funded jointly by the Federal and State governments to provide income support to seniors and people with disabilities. Many find that after paying rent they have little, if anything, left for food, medical expenses, transportation and clothing, and can't afford to take care of basic needs like doing laundry or buying personal hygeine items. SSI/SSP has experienced cuts over the years, and the maximum grant for individuals is currently $889 per month, which is 90 percent of the federal poverty line. These cuts remain in place today and cause a great deal of hardship for approximately 6,000 Humboldt County seniors and people with disabilities, and a total of 1.5 million people across the state.
Please consider supporting a proposal to help seniors and people with disabilities experiencing poverty in California by signing a petition asking state legislators and policymakers to increase SSI/SSP grant levels in the 2015-2016 legislative session. Click here to do so. (This is a statewide campaign, with the petition hosted by St. Anthony's in San Francisco, shared from the following link: bit.ly/CA4SSIPetition)
The status quo--keeping SSI/SSP grant levels the way they are--means keeping recipients in poverty with high risk of becoming houseless, hungry and in poor health. If legislation were enacted to raise SSI/SSP benefit amounts above the poverty line, it would lift 1.5 million California seniors and persons with disabilities out of poverty
California Budget Bites submitted this blog on the topic to the Sacramento Bee.