Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced new legislation to reduce the penalties for Americans in a federal program that are trying to save money for emergencies. Brown is looking at updating the rules for the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides financial assistance for the elderly, disabled and blind. Currently, individuals in the program could only save $2,000, and couples $3,000. But under the bill that Brown proposed, that limit would raise to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples. The SSI has helped more than eight million recipients, including over one million children, and Brown thinks it’s time for the program to be updated for the 21st century.

“Our bill says raise it to $10,000, that way you are not worried about raising it every couple of years,” says Sen. Sherrod Brown. “It hasn’t been raised in 30 years. That is an awfully long time, were $2,000 30 years ago is worth, according to some estimates, is between 9 and 10 thousand dollars today. So we ought to move it to that threshold, give people a shot and it will help a lot of people.”

The bill will also repeal the penalty for individuals who live in households with others.