Providing Financial Support for Minnesota Seniors

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Newly introduced legislation would allow seniors collecting social security to also be eligible for unemployment insurance payments if they have been laid off reasons related to COVID-19.

“Many of Minnesota’s seniors take on side jobs to supplement their social security benefits and are now facing financial difficulties as they have been furloughed or let go during this pandemic,” said the bill’s author Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth). “We can provide a much-needed economic boost for thousands of seniors by letting them collect unemployment insurance during this pandemic and helping ensure that they have the stability they need during this crisis.”

“Minnesotans are facing a variety of unique, difficult situations during this pandemic. Seniors losing out on unemployment insurance benefits simply because of their social security status can lead to significant financial hardship,” said Rep. Liz Olson (DFL – Duluth), the chief author in the House. “During our uncertain, challenging time, this legislation is one solution to help protect the economic security of Minnesota’s seniors.”

The legislation would allow seniors to receive their full unemployment insurance claim without deducting any income they receive from Social Security benefits. The legislation, SF4569 and SF 4570, is supported by the Minnesota AARP.

“AARP Minnesota strongly supports this legislation that repeals Minnesota’s law that unfairly reduces and even eliminates unemployment benefits for many older workers receiving Social Security,” said Will Phillips, AARP Minnesota State Director. “The average Social Security benefit is only $16,933 a year and unemployment benefits provide a lifeline to older workers out of a job. We want to thank Senator Erik Simonson and Representative Liz Olson for their leadership in addressing the financial security of older workers, especially during this economic crisis. It’s time for Minnesota to repeal this law.”

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Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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