Stop Penalizing Older Workers on Social Security

Minnesota is only state in the nation that reduces Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits (UI) for some laid off workers who either receive or have applied for Social Security (SS) benefits. These are not high-powered executives with pensions and 401K savings. These are people with few resources working at big retailers, air lines, health care companies, and more. Without the additional UI benefits designed to protect them, many older workers are struggling financially.

Swift action is needed to repeal this unfair law and apply it retroactively to the start of the pandemic. 

The average monthly Social Security benefit in Minnesota is only $1,569, 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. Ask them to support HF 106 (Davnie) which repeals the offset and to amend the bill to make the missed UI benefits retroactive. Older workers are counting on them during this economic crisis.

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to urge you to protect older workers laid off during the pandemic by repealing Minnesota's Social Security offset to Unemployment Insurance (UI) that reduces or eliminates altogether (UI) benefits for certain older workers. HF 106 (Davnie) repeals this Social Security offset, and I urge you to support this bill and amend it to make it retroactive to help these workers now.

In Minnesota, unlike every other state, unemployment benefits are reduced significantly if a laid off worker either receives Social Security or isn't receiving the benefit but has only applied for or intends to apply for 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."

As a result, many low-income workers have had significant reductions to their UI benefits or have been denied them altogether, making them ineligible for federal benefits too. They've been denied the very benefits specifically designed to help laid off workers during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.



Social Security's earned benefits are modest, averaging $1,569 a month in Minnesota. Given the modest nature of this earned benefit, many people need to work and receive Social Security at the same time.

Many older workers are not able to return to work due to their age and health risks for COVID. These are not high-powered executives with pensions and 401K savings. These are people with few resources working at low wage jobs at big retailers, air lines, health care companies, and more. On average, it takes older workers a longer time to find a new job, making these UI benefits even more important.

I urge you to repeal the Social Security offset under Minnesota's UI program and make the repeal retroactive to help older workers economically during this crisis. Now, more than ever, we need to take action to improve the financial security of older workers.

Thank you in advance for taking swift action to address these needs.

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