Sanders bill would raise social security benefit 31%

Sen. Bernie Sanders Wednesday joined Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in re-introducing the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act to raise the minimum monthly benefit 31%.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides income assistance to nearly 8 million elderly and disabled Americans with low-incomes and limited resources, including over 1 million disabled children.

“But due to decades of shameful federal neglect, the program now consigns millions to deep and enduring poverty, when it should instead offer a lifeline out of it….Nearly 15,000 Vermonters depend on Supplemental Security,” said Sen. Sanders. 

The Sanders press statement called asset and income restrictions “oppressive.”

The SSI Restoration Act would:
– Raise SSI’s sub-poverty-level monthly benefits, currently $794 per month, to 100% of the federal poverty level – a 31% increase –  and index them to inflation.
– Update and index the assets individuals or couples may have up to $10,000 and $20,000, respectively. The current limit of $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple has not been updated since 1989.
– Update and index SSI’s income rules – which have never been updated since the program was signed into law in 1972. 
– Eliminate the marriage penalty and increase the benefit for married couples to double the individual rate, to put marriage equality within reach for SSI beneficiaries.
– Eliminate benefit reductions that penalize beneficiaries who receive in-kind help from friends or family, such as groceries or a place to stay.

A 31% “raise” for eight million minimum SSI recipients at $246/month would cost $2 billion/month, or $24 billion per year. The press statement does not indicate how the SSI increase would be paid for. However, the Social Security Administration says all revenue comes from a total of three sources: payroll taxes, interest earnings, and revenue from taxation of benefits.

“In 2019, $944.5 billion (89 percent) of total Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance income came from payroll taxes. The remainder was provided by interest earnings $80.8 billion (7.6 percent) and revenue from taxation of OASDI benefits $36.5 billion (3.4 percent).

Photo credit berniesanders.com


Categories: Legislation

9 replies »

  1. Our dollar will soon be on par with monopoly money if these socialist keep getting their way.

  2. Sander’s quote-“But due to decades of shameful federal neglect,” even out of context puts him front and center as contributing to the federal neglect. He was first elected to congress in 1991. For thirty years, bernie has spread his bombast, bs and rhetoric, accomplishing exactly what?

    • Ummm his three or four houses is what the grifter accomplished and you and I are not welcome to come visit.

  3. Some of what Bernie proposes actually makes some sense. The average benefit is about $1500 a month, barely above the Federal Poverty Level. However Bernie has ignored the five-hundred pound gorilla in the room. The entire program needs to be updated and changed. Social Security, as currently designed, is not self sustainable. For the first time since inception, SSI has been forced to dip into principle to meet obligations. In all likelihood, they will reach the point of having to cut–not raise the benefits due to insolvency. Bernie’s proposal would only accelerate that timeline.

    This is not something new or unexpected. Actuaries have been warning of this event for forty or fifty years. Unfortunately, the politicians have lacked the courage and moral fortitude to take the necessary but politically unpopular measures. The result is what should have been small, incremental, and, relatively pain-free changes will soon be forced upon us. Of course, thanks to Congress kicking the proverbial can down the road, they will hurt, maybe a lot. Any plan thaty does not address this issue first and foremost is both foolish and irresponsible. Bernie knows the problem exists, but in his typical hypocritical way has chosen to ignore it.

  4. Social Security would be just fine if the democrats kept their hands out of it.. paying off bills, paying off their hookers/girlfriends, and other pet projects The SS gets a cost of living increase but it doesn’t matter because they increase the Medicare payment.. say the increase is $16 then they charge $25.. more for the Medicare payment.. Guess we have to pay more for the democrats pay increase and their benefits, they are so POOR.. IMO I think Sanders is only doing this because he’s afraid of losing his place in Congress. So any increase will just go back to the government

  5. People that are on so security SSI and SSDI we were being hit the hardest because I keep on raising the rent the cost of living is increasing the were being left with nothing to live on time we pay our bills I’m on SSDI in and getting just a little over 520 a month because I rely on help from others because I cannot afford to pay rent at the cost that it is it’s more than what I get a month for a one bedroom apartment you’re talking $900 a month I don’t even get that and I’m being penalize by so security because I’m having to live with friends and family I do pay them rent but so scared I office doesn’t think that’s good enough we need more money coming in to us we can barely make it as is and get trying to get into low income housing good luck you’re talking a 5 year waiting list they need to do a some serious fixing of the system I wish I was getting my full maximum benefit that I’m supposed to be getting but I’m not I’m supposed beginning $794 a month I’m being screwed over and there’s a lot of us out here that are being screwed over by the system and it hurting us

  6. Social Security would be solvent if it were not part of the general fund. The government keeps stealing the money to fund their pet projects!