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  • Larissa Martin

This Bill Will Finally Help Americans With Disabilities Legally Marry

I am a person with multiple disabilities and have been on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for my whole life. SSI is a need-based program that helps people with disabilities. To get SSI, your “countable resources” must not be worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

The hard part about this limit is that we can’t work any job and we definitely can’t marry without losing our benefits.

No one should have to choose between keeping their livelihood and finding love, but millions of Americans on SSI face this dilemma every day. It’s not fair to deny Americans with disabilities the option to marry because they rely on government assistance. 

The good news, though, is that legislators are considering a bipartisan bill that could change the game for people on SSI.

This piece of legislation would increase the amount of SSI that people with disabilities receive, eliminate the “marriage penalty,” and help the disabled community finally achieve marriage equality. Allie Williams, a disability advocate with spinal muscular atrophy, shared news of this proposed legislation on Instagram and is trying to bring viral attention to the importance of this bill.

This bill may not seem like it matters to able-bodied Americans without disabilities, but chances are, you know someone who currently receives SSI for a disability and as a result, can’t marry without losing their benefits. It’s also important to remember that any of us could become disabled (or more disabled) at any time, and due to accidents and injuries, the disability community grows every day. Formerly able-bodied people often have to go on SSI to make ends meet after their acquired disabilities prevent them from working, and they should be able to marry without losing their income.

The disability community is one of the last groups to achieve marriage equality, and we often forget about people with disabilities when we discuss marriage.

But disabled people want to marry as much as anyone in any other group, and it’s about time that they receive the opportunity to get married without losing their livelihoods. That’s why this bill is such a game-changer: it acknowledges the barriers that people with disabilities face in a time when we don’t often discuss them.

If you want to help the disability community pass this important bill, just take a few minutes to fill out this form about how this bill will help people with spinal muscular atrophy or other disabilities marry without losing the benefits that keep them financially stable. Your support will help millions of people finally realize marriage equality.

Featured Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash.


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