Last week House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) reiterated the need for Congress to prevent an unintended and unanticipated Social Security benefit reduction – caused by the pandemic recession — that will affect certain beneficiaries, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated estimate of this effect.
As a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, Social Security’s Average Wage Index is likely to drop in 2020. Because of how Social Security benefits are calculated, this will reduce Social Security benefits for future retirees who were born in 1960, as well as others who become eligible for Social Security in 2022. Affected beneficiaries would face a permanent reduction in benefits.
“CBO’s updated estimate, based on the latest economic data, continues to show that the Average Wage Index will likely drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and millions of Americans will receive lower Social Security benefits unless Congress acts. A medium earner in the affected cohort could lose $120 a year for the rest of their lives. While this is a smaller cut than initially estimated, Congress must still fix this flaw in the benefit formula. These are earned benefits, and already many seniors are just scraping by with the current modest benefits. That is why I will be reintroducing the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act to fix the benefit formula and ensure it does not happen again,” said Larson.
Larson will soon be reintroducing the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act. This bill prevents an unintended and unanticipated cut to Social Security benefits for those affected; it also expands benefits for those who need it most during COVID who have faced long term systemic economic inequalities.
TSCL has been working with Rep. Larson the past few years to expand Social Security benefits, strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund and correct the flaw in the way annual COLAs are determined. We look forward to his reintroduction of the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act.