Bipartisan legislation was introduced on March 5, 2019 by Representatives John Katko (R-NY) and Bill Keating (D-MA) to address the unique challenges facing individuals with ID/DD 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. 1529) clarifies that SSI benefits for an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability (ID/DD) will not be affected by marital status. When determining SSI benefits for an individual with ID/DD, only their income and resources will be reviewed, and will not include those of their spouse.

NDSS supports this legislation because living with an ID/DD is incredibly expensive, and there are few economies of scale that can come about when two individuals with ID/DD 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 ID/DD cannot choose to be married without losing the necessities that allow them to function independently.

Members of the House can contact Jennifer Wood Rep. John Katko (R-NY) at [email protected] or 202-225-3701; or Michael Wertheimer with Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) at [email protected] or 202-225-3111 to cosponsor

Senators are urged to support the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.