Introduced in June by Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon and Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, the Social Security Expansion Act would give beneficiaries an additional 12% each month, which would be an increase of $200 per month, or $2,400 annually. According to CBS News, the average monthly Social Security payment is approximately $1,658.The Social Security Administration said Social Security benefits have increased by 5.9%, the largest increase since 1982. Anyone who is a current Social Security recipient or will be eligible in 2023, at least 62 years old, would receive the bonus check. Bernie Sanders is quoted as saying the following, “I am proud that the Social Security Administration has estimated that our legislation to expand Social Security benefits by $2,400 a year will fully fund Social Security for the next 75 years by applying the payroll tax on all income – including capital gains – above $250,000 a year…”.
The bill would boost benefits for the lowest income earners in the U.S. under the Special Minimum Benefit program. Current recipients receive approximately $900 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. The proposed legislation would adjust the rate to 125% of the federal poverty line, increasing the monthly check to an estimated $1,400 per month. It would also increase payroll taxes for some earners; currently earnings above $147,000 are not subjected to Social Security taxes, but the bill would change it so all earnings at or above $250,000 are taxed.
Lawmakers said more than 93% of households would not see a change in how their income is taxed and would not be raised. It’s projected that Americans will stop receiving their full Social Security benefits in 2035, if lawmakers don’t act, according to a report released by the Social Security and Medicare trustees. By expanding the payroll tax, DeFazio and Sanders said, it would bolster the Social Security Administration’s trust fund, securing it through 2096.