"Notch Fairness Act" Would Compensate Millions of Seniors For Years of Reduced Social Security Checks
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A member of Congress recently introduced the Notch Fairness Act, to compensate millions of the nation's oldest and poorest senior citizens for the lower Social Security benefits they've received for more than three decades. The legislation, proposed by Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC), is supported by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan senior citizens advocacy groups.
Support for this Act has grown significantly, nearly doubling over the previous six Congressional sessions in which it's been introduced.
The Act would reimburse about four million seniors born between 1917 and 1926 for Social Security benefits they've lost since 1977, when Congress cut benefits in a way that caused this group to receive lower benefits than people with similar earnings born in the years before and after them. This led to cases such as a sibling born in 1917 receiving $112 less each month than a sibling born in 1916.
Inflation caused this disparity to grow over time, so that this group of so-called "notch babies," now in their mid-80s to mid-90s, has over the years received thousands of dollars less in benefits and is much more likely to live below the poverty line.
The new legislation proposes that the U.S. government end this imbalance by paying these seniors either a lump sum of $5,000 or increasing their monthly benefits.
"We need to protect our most vulnerable seniors and ensure that benefits are fairly distributed among people who paid into the system throughout their working lives," said Larry Hyland, chairman of The Senior Citizens League. "We are all mindful of the need to cut government spending, but there are many opportunities to do that by eliminating wasteful programs or addressing fraud; it shouldn't happen at the expense of our most vulnerable seniors. This legislation is long overdue and is the right thing to do. And we need to act now, so that the people who desperately need the help get it before it's too late."
Almost 70 percent of beneficiaries depend on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income. Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of beneficiaries.
With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information.
SOURCE The Senior Citizens League