“Strengthening Social Security For Widows Act” Introduced

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY 23) yesterday introduced the “Strengthening Social Security For Widows Act,” a bill intended to enhance the benefit available to a surviving spouse. Under current Social Security rules, the survivor would receive the larger of the two benefits in place of the two benefits previously received, effectively causing the total household benefit to decrease. This proposed legislation would ensure that the surviving spouse would receive “up 75 percent of the total household benefit when both spouses were alive.” Here’s an example: consider a situation where the larger of two monthly benefits paid to a couple is $1500 and the smaller is half, the survivor would be eligible for a benefit of $1687, rather than the $1500 under current law.

A press release on Rep. Reed’s website characterizes the bill’s merit as: “We care about making sure those who are widowed have the financial resources they deserve after suffering personal loss and tragedy,” said Rep. Tom Reed. “As a child of a widow who depended on Social Security after the loss of my father, we understand first-hand how critical these benefits are to so many Americans in need. We are proud to introduce this bill today, and will continue to fight for its passage.”

The bill as proposed also removes the requirement that disabled survivors must be age 50 in order to qualify for the benefits. To read the full text of the bill, click here…

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