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Rep. Tom Reed Introduces Legislation To Support Widows Through Social Security

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Washington, June 16, 2021 | comments

Washington - Today, Rep. Tom Reed introduced the “Strengthening Social Security For Widows Act”, which will increase Social Security benefits for widows/widowers from households with two incomes and remove burdensome age requirements for disabled widows to qualify for benefits. Currently, those who have been widowed in a two-income household face a 50 percent loss of benefits when a spouse dies.. Additionally, disabled widows/widowers must be 50 or older to begin receiving benefits.

“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.”

Under the current law, widows/widowers from two-income homes receive less benefits. For example, in a one-income home, if a spouse receives a $1,000 worker benefit, and the second spouse receives a $500 benefit, when the first spouse passes, the benefits of the second spouse will increase to $1,000 a month. However, in a two-income home where each spouse is receiving $750 in benefits, the widowed spouse’s benefits will remain the same. This legislation will ensure that the widowed spouse will see a fair increase in benefits, equaling up 75 percent of the total household benefit when both spouses were alive. The legislation will also end the requirement that disabled widows must 50 or older to qualify for the benefits they deserve.

The full text of this bill is available here.

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