An Equal Alternative: Social Security Survivors Benefits To Increase by 25% through Proposed New Bill

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Congresswoman  Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) introduced a new Congressional Bill that aims to increase the Social Security Survivors Benefits by 25%,  benefiting surviving spouses after the sudden cut of an income stream from a spouse’s untimely death.

Increased in Benefits: Elderly Approved

 

25% Increase? Here’s Why…

As stated by Rep Sanchez, the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee’s senior member, “Losing a spouse is devastating. And for those who depend on Social Security; the added financial distress of losing significant income can make an already difficult time even more troubling”. Resulting in the introduction of the Protecting Our Widows and Widowers in Retirement (POWR) Act on June 7 by Congresswoman Sanchez, along with six co-sponsors.  This proposed bill offers an increase to surviving elderly spouses’ Social Security Survivors benefits.

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In a published article in Yahoo Finance, there is a big difference in the Social Security Survivors benefits for women survivors stating that there is a 33% to 50% reduction of benefits after the spouse’s death according to the data cited by Sanchez. Since widows tend to rely heavily on Social Security compared to men, this becomes an enormous financial crisis for widows as compared to widowers making it one of the main goals of the POWR Act.

To maintain the standard of living, a typical senior couple needs 79% of the income they received while both spouses were alive. However when either of them dies, according to current laws, the surviving spouse can choose to benefit from the dead spouse’s Social Security benefit or her own. But they can’t receive both benefits at the same time.

 

However, with the help of the POWR Act, it bridges this so-called gap creating an almost equal alternative benefit of 75% from the 79% combined income received while both spouses were alive. Given that some survivors see as much as a 50% drop,  boosting the benefits with a 25% increase can greatly help the surviving spouse to live life with dignity. Furthermore, it ensures a comfortable life for the surviving spouse.

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