On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. And, for 86 years, Social Security has delivered each monthly payment in full and on time.

Even as Social Security is the most successful social insurance program in our country’s history, serving 65 million Americans each year, 5 million seniors still live in poverty.

Congress has not acted to increase Social Security’s benefits in 50 years. And, if no action is taken, beneficiaries will see an across-the-board benefit cut of 20% by 2034.

For about 40% of beneficiaries, Social Security provides a majority of their income; and for 1 in 6 it provides 90% or more of their income. Social Security is critical to communities of color with 45% of Black, 52% of Latinx/Latines and 41% of Asian American seniors relying on Social Security for all or nearly all of their income.

To expand benefits for millions of Americans, extend the lifespan of the trust fund, and pay for it by making the rich pay their fair share, Congress must introduce and pass legislation that:

  • Increases benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries

  • Improves the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) to better reflect the actual needs of seniors and people with disabilities

  • Ensures no one retires into poverty after a full career of work

  • Improves benefits for surviving spouses, restores student benefits for dependent children of disabled, deceased or retired workers, and increases benefits for children living with grandparents or relatives

  • Repeals the WEP/GPO, which penalize public service

  • Provides caregiver credits for those who must leave the workforce to care for a loved one

  • Ensures millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share, and applies FICA contributions to incomes over $400,000

During the Trump administration, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration was openly hostile to Social Security, seeking to undermine confidence in the system and our access to our earned benefits. To restore trust with the American people, we must strengthen the Social Security Administration’s service delivery to the public, starting with:

  • Preventing unwarranted closures of SSA field offices

  • Improving access to legal assistance for people with disabilities

  • Fighting back against misinformation about the Social Security Trust Fund’s solvency by mailing annual Social Security Statements to all workers ages 25 and older

This month, as we celebrate 86 years of Social Security, call on Congress to strengthen and expand Social Security and ensure millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share.