Stop Penalizing Older Workers on Social Security

Minnesota is one of a few states where unemployment benefits (UI) are reduced or even eliminated if the laid off worker receives Social Security.

Swift action is needed to repeal the law that subtracts Social Security benefits from unemployment benefits.

The average Social Security benefit in Minnesota is only $16,993, which means many older workers need to work to make ends meet. But under Minnesota law, older workers are penalized for receiving a modest benefit they've worked for their entire life.

Tell lawmakers this needs to stop. Older workers are counting on them during this economic crisis.

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

Thank you for your leadership in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Today, I urge you to take additional action on behalf of Minnesota's unemployed workers who rely on Social Security by repealing unfair laws that penalize older workers (HF4647 Olson/ SF4569 Simonson). More than half of all households were at risk of a financially insecure retirement before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, more than ever, we need to take action to improve the financial security of the 50-plus.

In Minnesota, unlike most other states, unemployment benefits are reduced significantly if a laid off worker receives Social Security. Under Minnesota Statute 268.085 Subdivision 4, "50 percent of the weekly equivalent of the primary Social Security old age benefit the applicant has received... must be deducted from an applicant's weekly unemployment benefit amount." Therefore, during this economic crisis, older workers are penalized for receiving a modest benefit they've worked their entire life for.



Social Security is the principal source of income for over half of older American households receiving benefits. Despite its critical importance, Social Security's earned benefits are modest, averaging only about $16,933 per year in Minnesota. Given the modest nature of this earned benefit, many people work and receive Social Security at the same time.

I urge you to take action to amend this statute to remove the Social Security offset under the Unemployment Insurance program and make effective date retroactive to help workers now. More than half of all households were at risk of a financially insecure retirement before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, more than ever, we need to take action to improve the financial security of the 50-plus.

Thank you for taking swift action to address these needs.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]