Why Strengthening SSI Needs to Be Part of “Building Back Better”

Off-Kilter Podcast
2 min readMay 29, 2021


Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Raul Grijlava, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and a panel of disability and seniors’ advocates talk about why it’s so important that SSI — a long-neglected income assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities — be updated as part of upcoming recovery legislation. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

This week, Off-Kilter’s bringing you a conversation Rebecca moderated at The Century Foundation earlier this week, on the historic opportunity to make long overdue improvements to Supplemental Security Income as part of #BuildBackBetter — featuring Sen Sherrod Brown, Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, as well as a panel of disability and seniors’ advocates.

**Production note: After more than 4 great years as a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund (and after debuting as the Center for American Progress’s first podcast, TalkPoverty Radio, where this whole adventure started)… Off-Kilter is thrilled to be moving over to The Century Foundation, where we’ll be relaunching next month. It’ll still be the show you know and love about poverty, inequality, and everything they intersect with — just with a new home. So while this will be Off-Kilter’s last episode for CAP Action, stay tuned for an update in the next couple of weeks as the pod makes moves to TCF. And a big thanks to CAP and CAP Action for all your support over the years.

— Rebecca

This week’s guests:

  • Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)
  • Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-CA)
  • Nancy Altman, president, Social Security Works
  • Matthew Cortland, chronically ill, disabled lawyer and senior fellow, Data for Progress
  • Kristen Dama, managing attorney for SSI, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
  • Tracey Gronniger, directing attorney, economic security, Justice in Aging
  • Mia Ives-Rublee, director, Center for American Progress Disability Justice Initiative
  • Kathleen Romig, senior policy analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

For more:

  • Follow #DemolishDisabledPoverty to stay up to date on the SSI push and for ways to get involved
  • Watch the event video
  • Dig into the new Data for Progress/TCF polling
  • Read Rebecca and Matt’s op-ed



Off-Kilter Podcast

Off-Kilter is the podcast about poverty and inequality—and everything they intersect with. **Show archive 2017-May ‘21** Current episodes: tcf.org/off-kilter.