Home Fairfield U.S. Sen. Murphy reintroduces Social Security Caregiver Credit Act

U.S. Sen. Murphy reintroduces Social Security Caregiver Credit Act

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has reintroduced the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act, which is designed to provide Social Security credits to individuals who left the workforce to care for their loved ones.

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Murphy

According to a statement issued by his office, more than 1 in 5 Americans have either left the workforce or have reduced their working hours to provide caregiving to a family member who is either ill, disabled or elderly, resulting in income losses totaling more than $300,000.

Women make up two-thirds of unpaid caregivers while more than half of Connecticut residents age 40 and older stated they provided care on an unpaid basis for an adult family member.

In the Democratic senator’s legislation, caregivers can qualify for Social Security credits by providing care for a minimum of 80 hours per month to a parent, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle who cannot perform daily living activities without assistance.

Caregivers who do not earn an income will receive a maximum credit equal to half of the average national wage, while those who balance caregiving with a salaried job will see their credit will phase out when the caregiver earns more than the average national wage.

“Taking care of a loved one is work and should be treated that way,” said Murphy. “But right now, the system penalizes the tens of millions of Americans who leave the workforce or reduce their hours to care for a family member because working less means not paying into Social Security.

“I’ve heard firsthand from Connecticut families struggling with the financial impact of this, and we’ve got to do better for our caregivers,” he added. “This legislation would make sure that the selfless decision to care for a loved one no longer comes with the costly consequences,”

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Grace Meng (D-NY). U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is among the Senate co-sponsors of the bill.

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