More than nine million veterans and their families receive retirement, disability, or survivor benefits from Social Security and, together, they comprise approximately 35 percent of the Social Security beneficiary population. PVA supports legislation that would set a more realistic cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) reflecting expenses frequently incurred by retirees and people with disabilities; reduce the tax burden on beneficiaries; ensure no one retires into poverty by improving minimum benefits; and make critical adjustments in the financing for the system. We also support measures to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and to gradually eliminate the earnings cliff in SSDI by phasing out benefits as earned income rises. We also support steps to remove penalties imposed on public pension recipients who are also Social Security beneficiaries.
Congress must pass the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act, H.R. 5723/S.3071, which would accomplish many of the benefit improvements that PVA supports including
- Basing COLAs on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).
- Setting the minimum benefit above poverty level.
- Applying Social Security payroll premium contributions to wages above $400,000 annual income.
- Ending the five-month wait for SSDI once someone is determined eligible.
- Eliminating the SSDI “cash cliff” that hinders the ability of beneficiaries to return to work.
- Repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset that currently penalize many public servants.
- Providing credits under Social Security for caregivers who take time out of the workforce to care for children or other dependents.