Bill Would Increase Social Security Benefits by Fixing Outdated Rules That Often Harm Women
Read About the SWIFT Act Here.
Washington, DC - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the Surviving Widow(er) Income Fair Treatment (SWIFT) Act (S. 3457). To help Americans achieve financial security in retirement, the SWIFT Act would fix outdated and arbitrary restrictions that prevent many Social Security recipients, particularly women, from maximizing their benefits. The bill would also enhance outreach and education about when and how to claim Social Security. If the bill were in effect today, it would increase Social Security income for more than 1 million Americans.
"I introduced the SWIFT Act to modernize outdated Social Security benefit rules and help Social Security keep its promise of a financially secure retirement for all Americans," said Senator Casey. “For many seniors and people with disabilities, Social Security is the difference between being able to afford housing, food and health care or going without. Due to outdated laws, those who rely on Social Security the most are having their income cut by unfair rules. These arbitrary restrictions disproportionately affect women.”
Social Security is an essential source of income for older adults and people with disabilities, and for many it is their only source of income. Poverty rates for widows, widowers and surviving divorced spouses, the majority of whom are women, are higher than poverty rates for other Social Security recipients. Those living with a disability or caring for children are even more likely to live in poverty.
Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are co-sponsors of the bill. The bill is also endorsed by AFGE, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, the Arc of the United States, Justice in Aging, National Association of Disability Representatives, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, National Organization for Women, National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, Social Security Works, Strengthen Social Security Coalition and Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement.