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House Legislation to Cut SSI Benefits

This week, the House is set to vote on HR 2792, the Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons Act. This bill is moving quickly and could be voted on as early as Tuesday evening. It would suspend eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for certain beneficiaries classified as “fugitive felons.”

 

Current law already requires suspension of SSI eligibility when a beneficiary is convicted of a felony or incarcerated for a felony offense. This bill would further suspend benefits for outstanding warrants and for allegations of a felony offense or probation or parole violation – regardless of how old it is – offering no exception for old, minor infractions or inactive cases that law enforcement agencies are no longer pursuing. It would even apply to a missed court appearance from years ago.

 

This bill could deprive thousands of people of the SSI benefits they depend on to meet basic needs. This loss of SSI eligibility would be especially devastating in the many states where it will result in people with mental illness also losing eligibility for Medicaid and access to treatment.

 

If this bill passes in the House, NAMI will fight it in the Senate and keep NAMI leaders informed of further opportunities to engage on this issue.

 

What can you do?

NAMI is sending out an alert on this bill to targeted audiences. While we realize NAMI leaders are actively fighting Graham-Cassidy, we believe many of your members may also be impacted by this bill and would like to contact their representatives. Here’s what you can do to help:

 

  1. Send out an alert to your members
  2. Share information on Facebook
  3. Post on Twitter

 

Action alert
Subject line: Tell Your Representative to Vote Against Cuts to SSI

 

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a bill (HR 2792) that would suspend eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for certain beneficiaries classified as “fugitive felons.”

 

This bill would disproportionately harm people with mental illness that currently receive SSI benefits who have previous law enforcement interactions.

 

Current law already requires suspension of SSI eligibility when a beneficiary is convicted of a felony or is incarcerated for a felony offense.

 

This bill would further suspend benefits for outstanding warrants and for any allegation of a felony offense or a probation or parole violation –regardless of how old it is.

 

The bill offers no exception for minor infractions in the past or inactive cases that law enforcement agencies are no longer pursuing. It would even apply to a missed court appearance from years ago.

 

The primary effect of this bill would be to deprive thousands of people of the SSI benefits they depend on. The loss of eligibility for SSI will be especially devastating in the many states where it will result in people with mental illness also losing eligibility for Medicaid and access to treatment.

 

This bill is attached to HR 2824, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. While NAMI does not oppose the MIECHVprogram, it should not be funded by cutting SSI benefits for people with serious mental illness. 

 

Tell your Representative TODAY to OPPOSE HR 2792.

 

Email Now.

 

Social media image for Facebook and Twitter

 

Facebook post

Congress is about to vote on HR 2792, which could take away SSI benefits from people with serious mental illness. This bill will suspend SSI benefits beyond convicted felons and those incarcerated for a felony offense to those with an outstanding warrant or allegation of a felony offense or parole violation. Tell your representative to VOTE NO on HR 2792. http://bit.ly/2xqKCFB

 

Tweets

  • The House is about to take away SSI benefits from people with serious mental illness. Tell Congress to #VOTENO. http://bit.ly/2xqKCFB

 

  • Don’t let the House vote for a bill that will harm people with mental illness with past law enforcement involvement: http://bit.ly/2xqKCFB

 

  • Tell Congress to #VOTENO on a bill that will cut SSI benefits for people with serious mental illness:http://bit.ly/2xqKCFB

 

 

Angela Kimball
National Director 
Advocacy & Public Policy

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