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Social Security Bill To Raise Earnings Cap Ways And Means Committee To Vote Thursday

Legislation allowing working Social Security recipients to earn more without losing benefits received unanimous approval from a House subcommittee on Tuesday.

If passed, the bill would raise the limit on how much work income Social Security recipients can make without taking a benefit cut, starting next year. The cutoff would rise from $11,280 this year to $14,000 next year and $30,000 by 2002.

Recipients between the ages of 65 and 69 lose $1 in benefits for every $3 they earn above the limit.

Groups representing the elderly, led by the American Association of Retired Persons, are pushing for the change, which will benefit nearly 1 million recipients.

“The current earnings limit … punishes seniors who choose to spend their golden years working, either because they like to work or because they must work to pay their bills,” said Rep. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., the subcommittee chairman.

A similar provision had been included in GOP tax and budget legislation in the House but was dropped because of procedural rules in the Senate.

GOP leaders in both chambers then promised to revive it before the end of the year. It was approved on a voice vote by the Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security and was scheduled for a vote by the full committee on Thursday.

The subcommittee, also on a voice vote, rejected an amendment by Rep. Barbara Kennelly, D-Conn., which would have raised the earnings limit for blind people receiving disability.


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