(March 23, 2020) As you are likely aware, the Federal Government is rushing a $1.5 trillion three phase emergency plan through Congress to rescue the economy in the wake of the COVID – 19 pandemic. Phases one and two were passed last week and mostly dealt with ramping up the purchase of medical supplies and protective gear needed by the medical community. Phase three will be the vehicle used to direct grants and guaranteed loans to businesses and direct payments or credits to individuals in order to offset rising unemployment. Many groups, including PERI, believe this is also an opportunity to assist retirees in states including Ohio where WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) has taken a portion from their Social Security payments for many years.
We learned late Friday that there is too much distance between WEP stakeholder groups and that pushing some consensus decision from the House on permanent WEP reform or repeal is not on the table. Additionally, the massive addition to the national debt from these bills to save the economy will likely make any short-term efforts to repeal or reform WEP/GPO unrealistic. Our best shot for some relief will be through the emergency legislation.
It is imperative that you take action now and call or email BOTH Senator’s offices immediately. Time is of the essence since this legislation will likely be passed by Congress tonight!
When you contact their offices, please communicate the following: “I am a Social Security recipient who has not received my full benefit because of the unfair WEP provision in tax law. I urgently need relief and ask you to provide meaningful financial assistance to me and fellow retirees in this situation through the phase three economic recovery bill under consideration. Thank you!”
You can call or email:
Senator Sherrod Brown – (202) 224-2315 or email through his Senate website page at https://www.brown.senate.gov/contact/email
Senator Rob Portman – (202) 224-3353 or email through his website at https://www.portman.senate.gov/meet/contact
Thank you very much for taking time to make this important outreach to your senators today! Please continue to be safe and follow the guidelines of our national and state governments as well as our public health officials. Together, we will all get through this difficult time!