Bipartisan legislation was introduced by Representatives John Katko (R-NY) and Bill Keating (D-MA) to address the unique challenges facing individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) who want to get married and who can reasonably be expected to remain on SSI for most of their adult life. The Marriage Access for People with Special Abilities (MAPSA) Act (H.R. 761) clarifies that SSI benefits for an individual with an IDD will not be affected by marital status. When determining SSI benefits for an individual with IDD, only their income and resources will be reviewed, and will not include those of their spouse.
NDSS supports this legislation because living with an IDD is incredibly expensive, and there are few economies of scale that can come about when two individuals with IDD wish to join and create one household. Each has unique personal care needs, medical expenses, job supports and other supportive services that allow them to function independently in their communities. As a result, most adults with IDD cannot choose to be married without losing the necessities that allow them to function independently.