Proposed plan would increase social security benefits

Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) today unveiled a plan to increase by $200 the monthly benefit for all Social Security, Veterans, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries through the end of 2021, which would improve the lives of millions of Americans and help our economy stabilize and recover from the national emergency caused by the spread of the coronavirus, according to a press release from Wyden’s office Saturday, March 21, 2020.

This plan would give seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities who have earned this benefit by contributing to Social Security with every paycheck, an additional $4,000 over the next two years.

“Immediately increasing Social Security benefits would put money in the pockets of seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities during these uncertain times,” said Leader Schumer. “Senate Democrats are committed to quickly delivering relief to the millions of Americans bearing the weight of this public health crisis.”

“Increasing Social Security benefits would get money directly to millions of people quickly, delivering immediate relief to Americans at heightened risk during this pandemic and boosting our economy,” said Senator Warren. “Social Security was created to respond to the Great Depression, and expanding it now will ensure this critical program helps us meet the challenge of the current crisis.”

“Social Security is a lifeline that gives Americans financial security when they need it most,” said Senator Wyden. “Now is the time to bolster Social Security’s time-tested earned benefits so millions of people in need can afford the essentials.”

In 2019, 64 million Americans received Social Security checks, the majority of whom were retired and are now at increased risk of contracting coronavirus due to their age. Social Security makes up a majority of income for most seniors and older individuals with severe disabilities.

Researchers have found that increasing Social Security benefits has a “large, immediate, and significant” positive impact on spending. In fact, there is a nearly 1:1 ratio between an increase in Social Security benefits and an increase in consumer spending, which means increasing these benefits will bring an enormous boost to the economy quickly, starting the first month benefits are increased.

The Senators’ plan also protects Social Security recipients from losing access to other assistance programs and has wealthier Americans pay back some of the added benefit with their taxes.

Senators Schumer, Wyden, and Warren’s proposal is included as part of Senate Democrats’ bold Phase 3 proposal for at least $750 billion to fight COVID-19 and the economic crisis facing every American. Senate Democrats’ Phase 3 proposal puts workers and families first while ensuring that necessary resources are delivered to address every corner of the public health crisis, including funds to address burgeoning capacity issues at hospitals, child care and education, and more.

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