Expand Social Security | Bernie Sanders Official Website (2022)

Yes, we can live in a country where every senior lives in dignity and security, and does not have to choose between paying for basic necessities like medicine, food, or housing. We will do this by guaranteeing every American the right to a secure retirement, the opportunity to age in place in the community, and by expanding and improving Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision care.

Guaranteeing Comprehensive Health Care

Health care is a human right, not a privilege. That’s why Bernie has been running on Medicare for All, a single-payer program that will guarantee comprehensive health care coverage to everyone in America. What will this mean for seniors who are covered by the existing Medicare program? It will mean an expansion of benefits.

Medicare for All will expand on the existing Medicare program by including dental care, hearing aids, routine vision exams, podiatry, and more. Further, home-based health care and community-based services, rehabilitative services, durable medical equipment and assistive technology will also be covered, so seniors can get the help they need to remain in their homes and communities without having to first exhaust all of their savings.

(Video) Protect Social Security | Bernie Sanders

Medicare for All will also cover primary care, hospital services, and prescription drugs as well as mental health care and care for substance use disorders. Seniors will no longer have the uncertainty associated with deductibles, copays, or surprise bills. Seniors will still, of course, be able to choose their doctor and their hospital, just like they do now.

Slashing Drug Prices

In the United States, we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. This year alone the price of major prescription drugs have increased more than five times the rate of inflation with price hikes as high as 875 percent. While about one out of five Americans cannot afford to pay for the medicine prescribed by their doctors,10 big drug companies made $69 billion in profits last year and the top 25 CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry received $440 million in compensation in 2017.

Seniors take an average of 4.5 drugs every month. For a senior taking brand name medications, the yearly price of those medications was more than $30,000 in 2017, more than most seniors’ annual income. Nearly a quarter of seniors with prescriptions have a hard time affording their medicine.

Under Medicare for All, we will stop the pharmaceutical industry from ripping off seniors by making sure that no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need by capping what Americans pay for prescription drugs. This is exactly what exists in countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden and New Zealand. Under this plan, seniors will never experience another donut hole where they are forced to pay thousands of dollars for the life-saving medicine they need.

We will also take bold action to take on the pharmaceutical industry by:

  • Requiring Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices while maintaining access to all FDA-approved medications.
  • Cut drug prices by 50% by making sure the U.S. pays no more for prescription drugs than other major countries.
  • Allow patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to purchase lower-cost drugs from Canada and other countries.
  • Exercise federal march-in rights to manufacture drugs produced at taxpayer expense.
  • Require companies to disclose the costs of clinical drug trials.

Expanding Social Security

At a time when about half of American households over the age of 55 have no retirement savings and one out of five seniors are trying to live on less than $13,500 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security. Our job is to expand Social Security so that everyone in this country can retire with the dignity they have earned and everyone with a disability can live with the security they need.

Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Before Social Security was signed into law, nearly half of seniors lived in poverty. Today, while much too high, the poverty rate for seniors is down to 9.2 percent. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid every nickel owed to every eligible American – on time and without delay. That is an extraordinary accomplishment.

(Video) Bernie Brief: Social Security | Ep. 2

Despite what you may have heard from those who want to cut back on Social Security, let’s be clear: Social Security is not “going broke.” Social Security has a $2.9 trillion surplus and can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 16 years.

Although Social Security’s finances are strong, Congress must strengthen and expand it for generations to come. How do we do that? Simple.

At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the wealthiest Americans in this country must pay their fair share into the system. Today, a billionaire pays the same amount of money into Social Security as someone who makes $132,900 a year because the Social Security payroll tax is capped.

Bernie’s Social Security plan would lift this cap and apply the payroll tax on all income over $250,000 in order to accomplish four things.

  • First, we will make sure that Social Security will pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 52 years.
  • Second, we will expand benefits across-the-board including a $1,300 a year benefit increase for seniors with incomes of $16,000 a year or less.
  • Third, we will lift millions of seniors out of poverty by increasing the minimum benefits paid to low-income workers when they retire.
  • Fourth, we will increase cost-of-living adjustments to keep up with the rising cost of health care and prescription drugs by establishing a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly.

Guaranteeing Home and Community Based Long-Term Care Services

Bernie believes that as a nation, we have a moral responsibility to ensure that all Americans have the supports and services they need to live at home and to age with dignity and respect. Currently, over 700,000 Americans are forced to wait for Medicaid home and community-based services, while many others are not even able to get on the waiting list due to draconian asset and income restrictions.

Under Medicare for All, health care will be guaranteed as a right, including fully covering home and community based services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities. The program will also provide transportation to and from health services for those who need it.

At the present time, Medicare does not cover the long-term care that seniors need. No family should be forced to sell their belongings, spend their entire life savings, or live in poverty in order to get the help they need to remain healthy and at home. Nor should seniors be forced to spend years on waiting lists to access home and community-based services, forcing them to choose between going without needed care or being forced into a nursing home against their will. Under Medicare for All, if seniors want to remain at home and receive the supports and services to do so, they will have that choice. These services will be available when people need them, without waitlists, asset and income restrictions, and other barriers.

(Video) Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders spar over Social Security

As President, Bernie will also work to ensure that home and community-based services are delivered in a high-quality comprehensive fashion by implementing the Home and Community Based Settings Rule, reversing the Trump Administration’s attack on collective bargaining rights of home care workers, tasking the Justice Department with vigorously enforcing the Supreme Court’s landmark Olmstead decision, and put an end to the for-profit managed care companies privatizing our Medicaid system.

Expanding the Older Americans Act

Signed into law in 1965, the Older Americans Act provides critical funding for a wide variety of social and supportive services such as home-delivered and group meals like those provided at senior centers, employment and community service opportunities for low-income seniors, caregiver support, and protections for nursing home residents. But we have got to do better. Close to 5 million seniors in this country struggle with hunger. Since 2001, senior hunger has increased by 45 percent. Too many older Americans are forced to choose between paying for food, shelter, or medical care and too many older Americans experience loneliness and social isolation. When families seek help for their loved ones, they are too often told that there are waitlists for critical services. There are solutions to these challenges. One obvious solution is to massively expand these important services by quadrupling funding for the Older Americans Act to adequately fund existing programs and create new programs to ensure that older adults have the support they need to remain at home and in their communities, which is where they want to be.

As part of this expanded Older Americans Act, we will prioritize addressing social isolation among seniors. One in every fourseniors lives alone. Today, one-third of seniors feels lonely. Social isolation and loneliness negatively impact health and well-being and must be addressed aggressively by the federal government. We will create a new office within the Administration for Community Living to address social isolation. We will conduct a nationwide study of social isolation among seniors and its impact, as well as provide grants to states, municipalities, and non-profits to implement innovative pilot programs to address this issue.

We already know that programs like Meals on Wheels are crucial for seniors living alone because they provide not only a nutritious meal but also a visit from a friendly volunteer who can check in on them when they may otherwise not have other visitors that day or even that week. We will also expand and modernize senior centers around the country to provide older adults with places to not only enjoy healthy meals together, but also provide space for exercise classes, book clubs, health screenings, routine health care services, and more.

Protecting Pensions

We will also address the retirement security crisis and guarantee everyone in America the right to a secure retirement. As President, Bernie will protect and expand pension benefits of employees in both the public and the private sector.

Because of a change in law instituted in the dead of night and against the strong opposition by Senator Sanders, it is now legal to cut the earned pension benefits of more than 1.5 million workers and retirees in multi-employer pension plans. That is absolutely unacceptable.

As president, Bernie will sign an executive order to impose a moratorium on future pension cuts and would reverse the cuts to retirement benefits that have already been made. In addition, President Sanders will fight to implement legislation he first introduced in 2015 to prevent the pensions of up to 10 million Americans from being cut.

(Video) Social Security | Bernie Sanders

Instead of asking retirees to take a massive cut in their pension benefits, we will make multi-employer plans solvent by closing egregious loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans in this country to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

If Congress could provide a multi-trillion bailout to Wall Street and foreign banks in 2008, we can and we must protect the pensions that were promised to millions of Americans.

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Seniors

It is unacceptable that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world 7.2 million seniors are living in poverty. We must protect the most vulnerable in this country and make sure they have access to the help they need by:

  • Expanding Heating and Cooling Assistance. Access to heating and cooling assistance is a life and death issue for seniors. Trump’s solution is to eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which keeps seniors from freezing to death. There is a senior in 46 percent of households that receive LIHEAP. But only a fraction of the people who need this critical lifeline get the assistance they need due to woefully inadequate funding. When we are in the White House, we are going to expand LIHEAP so everyone gets the heating and cooling assistance they need year round.
  • Ending Senior Hunger. Close to 5 million seniors in this country struggle with hunger. Since 2001, senior hunger has increased by 45 percent. To address this crisis we will protect and expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides 4.8 million seniors with nutrition assistance. We are going to expand the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to provide seniors with the nutrition they need. And we are going to expand the Meals on Wheels programs to end the long waitlists that exist.
  • Putting an end to Predatory Lending and Scams that target seniors. We will ensure that every American has access to resources that can help them save and plan by cracking down on scams and predatory financial practices and instruments that target seniors; capping credit card interest rates at 15 percent; ending the exploitative practices of these modern day loan sharks and end the discrimination in lending that people of color face.

Expanding and Training the Direct Care Workforce We Need

We need 7.8 million home health and personal care aides by 2026 to meet our needs. In order to meet the growing demand, we need to make direct care a quality job that pays a living wage. We will enact a domestic workers bill of rights to ensure our care workers are afforded a living wage and a safe working environment. When we are in the White House, we will pass inclusive labor protection laws for domestic workers, who have historically been intentionally excluded to allow the exploitation of disproportionately minority and immigrant workers. This means providing domestic workers with strong protections for collective bargaining, workers’ rights, workplace safety, and fair scheduling, regardless of immigration status, and that they have the information and tools they need to act on these rights and protections. And we will guarantee free direct care training programs through public colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs to help train the workforce we need.

Direct care workers, who are overwhelmingly women – in particular, women of color and immigrants, too often do not receive health insurance through their employment. We will guarantee them high-quality health care under my Medicare-for-All, single payer health insurance system.

We will provide both our domestic care workers and our family caregivers guaranteed vacation leave, sick leave, and family and medical leave. We will enact the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act to compensate the more than 43 million unpaid family caregivers for their work. We will also provide caregivers training so they are equipped to handle the needs of the people they care for. And we will provide respite care so that caregivers can get the time off they need to recharge.

FAQs

What is expand Social Security? ›

The Social Security Expansion Act would: Extend the solvency of the Social Security trust fund 75 years, through 2096, by requiring the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into the fund, just like everyone else.

Is Social Security giving seniors? ›

Anyone who is a current Social Security recipient or who will turn 62 in 2023 — the earliest age at which an individual can claim Social Security — would receive an extra $200 per monthly check. There are some additional tweaks that would boost benefits over the long-term.

Does Social Security increase 200? ›

The bill was introduced after the Social Security Administration said that Americans would no longer receive benefits in 13 years if congressional lawmakers do not address the funding shortage. The new bill would allot $200 more per month for each Social Security recipient — a 12% boost in money, according to CBS News.

Is Social Security going to be lowered? ›

According to the 2022 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, the surplus in the trust funds that disburse retirement, disability and other Social Security benefits will be depleted by 2035.

Are seniors getting a fourth stimulus check? ›

WILL SENIOR CITIZENS GET A FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK

Is there really a $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

You can receive as much as a $16,728 bonus or more every year. A particular formula will determine the money you'll receive in your retirement process. You must know the hacks for generating higher future payments.

Is there a 2022 stimulus check? ›

Taxpayers with incomes at $75,000 or above will receive a phased benefit with a maximum payment of $250. Households will get an additional amount up to $250 if they have qualifying dependents. Californians can expect to receive payments between October 2022 and January 2023 via direct deposit and debit cards.

Are we getting a gas stimulus check in 2022? ›

The Gas Rebate Act of 2022 is legislation that would give a $100 monthly rebate (and $100 for each dependent) to help Americans pay for high gas prices. The idea is that payments would continue throughout 2022 during any month when the national average gas price is $4 or more (like right now).

How much money can you have in the bank if you get Social Security? ›

WHAT IS THE RESOURCE LIMIT? The limit for countable resources is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.

How much will my Social Security check increase in 2022? ›

How much is the increase: Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for approximately 70 million Americans will increase by 5.9% in 2022. This is the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Will seniors get another stimulus check? ›

The Senior Citizens League is pushing for $1,400 stimulus payments to seniors on Social Security, but legislation hasn't been introduced.

Are seniors getting extra money in 2022? ›

The earliest a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits will remain at age 62. The average monthly benefit for all retired workers in 2022 will rise to $1,657.

What would replace Social Security? ›

In the proposals presented to the Commission, the use of retirement bonds--and annuities based on bond accumulations- would also replace the entire benefit structure of Social Security for the future.

At what age can you stop filing income tax? ›

There is no magic age at which you're allowed to stop filing taxes with the IRS. However, once you're over the age of 65, your income thresholds that determine if you're required to file will change.

What changes are coming to Social Security in 2022? ›

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022. Read more about the Social Security Cost-of-Living adjustment for 2022. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000.

Who gets a stimulus check 2022? ›

To be eligible, residents must: Be at least 18 on or before December 31, 2021; Be a resident for the entire 2021 income tax year; And file a state income tax return for the 2021 income tax year or apply for a Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) Rebate by June 30, 2022.

Will Social Security recipients get a fourth stimulus check in 2022? ›

With inflation in America at an all-time high, seniors and others on a fixed income have been some of the hardest hit by the rising costs of groceries, utilities and fuel.

Is Social Security sending out stimulus checks? ›

Social Security recipients will automatically receive a stimulus payment if their income is below the qualifying thresholds (see above) regardless of whether they filed a tax return in recent years.

What is the $16 728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook? ›

Knowing your Social Security Benefit Profile can substantially increase your annual benefits including increased annual income as well as medical benefits.

What is the highest possible Social Security monthly benefit? ›

The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364. If you retire at age 70 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $4,194.

What is the average Social Security check at age 62? ›

According to the SSA's 2021 Annual Statistical Supplement, the monthly benefit amount for retired workers claiming benefits at age 62 earning the average wage was $1,480 per month for the worker alone. The benefit amount for workers with spouses claiming benefits was $2,170 at age 62.

Who qualifies for the new stimulus check? ›

The full payment is available to single tax filers with income under $75,000 and married joint filers with an income under $150,000. Payments phase out once income exceeds these thresholds, and single filers with an income above $80,000 or married joint filers with an income above $160,000 aren't eligible.

Is New jersey getting a$ 500 stimulus check? ›

There is no need to apply for this rebate. A rebate will be calculated automatically for eligible taxpayers after you file your 2020 NJ-1040 return. How much will I receive if I am eligible? The rebate amount is equal to the tax paid after credits (line 50), up to a maximum amount of $500.

How do you get a stimulus check? ›

You will need to file a 2020 tax return to get the first and second stimulus checks and a 2021 tax return to get the third stimulus check. Visit GetYourRefund.org to claim the first and second stimulus checks by October 1, 2022.

What states are giving extra stimulus checks? ›

Who is getting a stimulus check in 2022? These states are giving money to residents
  • Colorado. State residents who filed their 2021 tax return by June 30 will get a little extra cash by September. ...
  • Delaware. ...
  • Georgia. ...
  • Hawaii. ...
  • Idaho. ...
  • Illinois. ...
  • Indiana. ...
  • Maine.
Jul 20, 2022

Who is getting gas stimulus checks? ›

Who would be eligible for a federal gas rebate? As with the pandemic stimulus checks, compensation depends on income levels: Individuals earning less than $75,000 will get the full $100. The amount would diminish the more you earn, and individuals making over $80,000 wouldn't be eligible for any rebate.

What 10 states are getting the stimulus check? ›

2022 Stimulus Check Update: 10 States Are Sending New Stimulus Checks
  • California. In June, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced relief checks worth as much as $1,050 for residents earning below $250,000. ...
  • Colorado. ...
  • Delaware. ...
  • Virginia. ...
  • South Carolina. ...
  • Oregon. ...
  • Florida. ...
  • Georgia.
Aug 6, 2022

Does Social Security check your bank account? ›

If you receive benefits through the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can check your bank account. They do this to verify that you still meet the program requirements.

How often does Social Security check your bank account? ›

As we explain in this blog post, SSI can check your bank accounts anywhere from every one year to six years, or when you experience certain life-changing experiences. The 2022 maximum amount of available financial resources for SSI eligibility remains at $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.

Does savings affect Social Security? ›

Pension payments, annuities, and the interest or dividends from your savings and investments are not earnings for Social Security purposes.

Is Social Security getting a $200 raise in 2022? ›

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2022

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022. Read more about the Social Security Cost-of-Living adjustment for 2022.

How Much Will SSI checks be in 2022? ›

In October, SSI beneficiaries will get no payment. The maximum check is $841 in 2022 for eligible individuals for this federal program, which provides support to disabled, blind and elderly people who have little or no incomes. The average monthly benefit is $624.

How much will SSI increase in 2022? ›

How much is the increase: Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for approximately 70 million Americans will increase by 5.9% in 2022. This is the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

How can I increase my Social Security disability payments? ›

You can increase Social Security Disability payments by working at least 35 years before retiring, understanding the benefits of working past retirement age, and avoiding Social Security's tax consequences. If you are married, married applicants can maximize their disability payments by claiming their spousal benefits.

Videos

1. Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Increase Social Security
(The Young Turks)
2. Bernie Sanders On Wall Street, College, Social Security | Morning Joe | MSNBC
(MSNBC)
3. Progress | Bernie Sanders
(Bernie Sanders)
4. Clinton & Sanders Debate in Brooklyn, Taking on Social Security, Superpredators, Political Judgment
(Democracy Now!)
5. America | Bernie Sanders
(Bernie Sanders)
6. Bernie's Opening Statement
(Bernie Sanders)

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