With Congress gearing up for more “fiscal cliff” battles this year, The Arc is concerned about threats to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These lifelines provide essential financial security for millions of Americans, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc believes that Social Security and SSI should not be part of deficit reduction, and that any changes to these systems must be carefully evaluated in terms of their effects on beneficiaries. This issue of National Policy Matters looks at one major threat to Social Security and SSI, the chained Consumer Price Index (“chained CPI”).
- The chained CPI cuts Social Security and SSI benefits by reducing annual cost of living increases. Cuts add up significantly over time and would disproportionately harm people with disabilities.
- The chained CPI also cuts veterans pensions and certain military and civilian retirement benefits, and would limit eligibility for over 30 vital programs such as Head Start and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
- The chained CPI has been considered as part of most major deficit reduction proposals over the last several years, and has at different times been supported by Members of Congress from both political parties and by the White House.
- The public strongly opposes cutting Social Security, including through the chained CPI.