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The American Rescue Plan Is a Big Win for Seniors

WASHINGTON - The following is a statement from Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works, on House passage of the American Rescue Plan:

“For the past year, older Americans have faced the most severe health consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many seniors also faced economic consequences, including retiring early to protect themselves from the virus. 

The American Rescue Plan provides desperately needed financial relief. The vast majority of seniors will receive a $1,400 check, in addition to their regular Social Security benefits. Multi-generational households will receive $1,400 for every member of the household, including grandparents, parents, and children.

This legislation also addresses the pandemic directly by investing $20 billion in a national vaccination program to get vaccines in arms quickly. This will save the lives of many seniors and make it possible to hug their children and grandchildren again.

During the pandemic, for-profit nursing homes have been the most dangerous places in America. They are prioritizing their profits over protecting workers and residents, resulting in over 172,000 deaths. Our long-term care system is fundamentally broken. The American Rescue Plan takes an important step in the right direction by including over $12 billion in funding for home and community-based services. This will allow more seniors and people with disabilities to live in their own homes instead of nursing homes.

Additionally, the American Rescue Plan saves the retirements of over 1.5 million Americans by strengthening multi-employer pension plans. Democrats rejected Republican calls for benefit cuts and guaranteed that these retirees will receive the full pension benefits they’ve earned.

These are just a few of the provisions in this historic legislation, which will massively reduce poverty in America. We commend President Biden and Congressional Democrats for this bold first step, and look forward to working with them on future legislation to expand Social Security, improve Medicare, and lower drug prices.” 

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The mission of Social Security Works is to: Protect and improve the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations; Safeguard the economic security of those dependent, now or in the future, on Social Security; and Maintain Social Security as a vehicle of social justice.

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