The next four days the California Retired Teachers Association is going to be calling and visiting their Members of Congress (MOC) to remind them that we need action on H.R.141. We can back them up!

With all the activity in Washington these days, your Representative may have signed onto the repeal bill and then just forgotten about it. Our lost benefits affect us every day!  We need to remind them!

Program the DC phone number of your Representative (or MOC) in Washington into your phone, so it is easy to call. (They log the subject of the calls they get, even if they just say “yea, uh huh.”)

Check the link here: (or always on our website) to find out if your Congressperson has signed on.

Check here:  To find their D.C. (or local) office phone.

Call them.

Tell whomever answers, or even better ask for a legislative aide, that you are losing $_____every month that you or your spouse paid for and it really isn’t fair.   

If your MOC hasn’t signed on, tell them you expect them to do it. (H.R. 141 is a bi-partisan bill).  If they have signed on as a co-sponsor, thank them and tell them we are waiting for some action.

By now you should have your story ready to tell. 

You can always add: “The formula for the WEP is wrong for what it tries to do. It has been cheating people for years. It hurts lower income people. It must be repealed.”

“The GPO ignores the years that women may have stayed home, truly dependent on their spouses. The wife is cheated out of family income that was invested in Social Security. Nearly half a million elderly women have lost all rights to spousal or survivor benefits.”

Call Congress today!

40 Comments

  1. I have been working on it for25 years!!! Will it ever happen before I DIE??? SO UNFAIR TO US. Ηow far have we really come-please tell us how many all together have signed on…

    1. It is so unfair,the government has gave more away that could of take care of this for all of us.They don’t mind giving it to non citizens.

    2. Non-citizens who have paid into FICA, like most of the rest of workers, earn their own Social Security. If they get a pension from their own country, they are hit by the WEP or the GPO. Non-citizens who work on a phony SS number, never get back what they paid in.

  2. SSA is again demanding I send my current pension information to them. My penalty is due to the GPO. Since I challenged my monthly ‘benefit’ several years back, my request for answers as my I presented at various levels, up to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in Denver. The husband I was claiming under 11 years ago was receiving approximately $1,574/month; so to be increased to approximately $1800+ per month. I have been garnished, and now receive $174; which they are now demanding I update my file again!! SS completed their garnishment by withholding my SSA benefits for several years to repay them -what they determined to be overpayment – of over $5,000. Now they sent me another one of pension update forms staring with when their garnishment was ending to what my Government adjustments were since that time. Local SSA office ignored my request to update my file in 2018 and answer a few questions. I had requested 5-10 of their time.
    Legalized Stealing.

    1. The rules let them recalculate the GPO every year and pay you less spousal or survivor benefits if your pension has a cost of living increase. If you get a $3 raise, they will cut you $2.

  3. Yes Joyce, it is very unfair. And the hearing process remains largely unfair. I have lost about $600 -$1,000 per month for the past 11 years. What I did receive was almost entirely lost to garnishments of their determined “overpayments”. SSA give small amounts (if any) then go and take it back. What SSA does needs to be considered harassment of a particular group of people/workers. It is profiling, and discriminating; mostly against women

  4. I wish Rep Neal from MA would stop trying to block this with his own suggested bill. He has been a drag on this change for over a decade and we should ALL be supporting HR 141. It is in the best interest of those who have worked in both public and private sectors in their lives and for those who are married and are at a complete loss financially when their spouse dies. Time to honor those who served the public in their careers.

  5. So what are the chances of a repeal this year? Those of us affected by it aren’t getting any younger! Thank you.

    1. There is a new bill that will affect the WEP, but not the GPO. At this point they are offering $150 a month to those already retired.

  6. The years we moonlighted to pay into social security and for what? I am 72, hope this is repaired and back pay.

  7. We now have 209 Representatives in the House that have co-sponsored, HR 141 and 35 Senators co-sponsored S521.
    I have looked up Senators, and Representatives D.C. phone numbers and call at least once a month. You can find Senators, and Representatives phone numbers by looking on congress.gov. I like to go on this website click on the see if your Senator or Representative co-sponsored the bill, then at the bottom you can click on Representatives/Senators and look up Representatives or Senators.
    If everyone would do the same, we could move this legislation along the path to repeal. It is hard to ignore 2.5 million phone calls once a month.
    Bill

    1. Call every Senator and every Representative in the House and Senate that have not Co-sponsored respective legislation once a month. If I got 2.5 million phone calls a month I think I would vote how I was being asked to vote.
      Our representatives need to know we are watching and taking note. If they don’t vote our way don’t give them your vote of confidence when their re-election comes around.
      When you call you can tell them how many constituents are being affected, (potential votes) in each state. As a Senator this is critical. Statistics provided by the Congressional Research Service 2017. I am sure the numbers have increased since then.
      Lets unite and call, call, call…
      Bill

  8. I’ll never forget when we went to SS office and were told neither of us would get our full social security that we had planned on for our retirement. The person said, too bad you moved to Missouri a WEP state, and too bad you’re both teachers. How can anyone think this “law” is okay. Friends who didn’t leave the state we moved from do get their full SS and were teachers. SO UNFAIR!

  9. What would be really great is if the teachers could Coors with the police and fire to hit them all at one time.

    1. Are you suggesting that we coordinate with the police and fire, or that we have a beer with them…? If you know some police or fire retirees who are affected, have them write ssfairness@gmail.com

  10. I receive civil service pension based on my own work. My spouse died and i cannot be paid a social security pension because of gpo. I never had enough qtrs on my own so every 3 mths i must pay 406.00 for part b. How fair is this. All my widows pension is offset due to gpo and even my part b premiums. Can i dedu t as a loss for taxes all the money that is offset? This is so unfair

  11. please stop this injustice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I paid in to s.s. faithfuly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want what I was told I would get when I retire!!!!!!!!!!! I want to enjoy my retirement too! I do not want to struggle … stop cheating me ! this is a disgrace!!

  12. I’m not sure what this formula would be, but here in Texas we are being told an extra $100/mo. That is ridiculous! I’ve been losing $500/mo for 8 yrs! I think the whole thing needs to be repealed so it goes back to us getting the FULL amount we are entitled to! What they are considering is unacceptable!

  13. Hi http://www.ssfairness.org. As of today (10 – 24 – 19) 49.2% of the House supports HR 141. What happens to HR141 when 50% + of the House supports it? Only 34% of the Senate supports S521. It is time to wake up the Senate.

  14. Come on Texas, get with it! Texas has 36 representatives and only 13 have signed on to support HR 141. Lets all help Texas. Lets give them a call….

  15. I could use some help in Utah. Chris Stewart 202-225-9730, Ben McAdams 202-225-3011, Rob Bishop 202-225-0453, John Curtis 202-225-7751 for HR 141 and Mitt Romney 202-224-5251 Mike Lee 202-224-5444.
    Take 10 minutes and help out a friend. We are all in this together!

  16. Bill has it right. Action speaks louder than grousing and belly aching. With the net it’s a cinch to call any congress member in any state any time, (voice message after hours). As of the moment, we have 213 in the House!! GET on the horn and call, call, call. You can call their state offices or their D.C. one. BE polite no matter what. In lobbying for our cause, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you are at a loss of what to say, simply say: “Please ask the congress member if he/she could add their name as a cosponsor to H.R. 141, the Social Security Fairness Act, thank you.” THAT’S IT!

    1. My representative, a Republican named Greg Walden, has come out in support of HR 141. I wish everybody else would get on board with it.

      Any concerns about how it affects SS could be dealt with by raising the cap to cover the cost of repeal.

    2. Dear Charles: Thank you so much for your comment. I am so grateful that you are proactive. However, I disagree with “being nice” to Republicans. You don’t have to lambast them, but you have to be forceful. They are not in our corner. With only 53 votes out of a total of 222 on H.R. 141, they are not in our corner, Charles. I think people do need to call but be forceful and remind them that Kevin McCarthy is a House Republican Majority leader from California. Remind McCarthy’s office (I published his number in my comments dated 11/11/19 that we will remember the fact that Republicans have held back so far in helping people who are losing between $408 and $463 a month. In this case, with the Republicans, you have to set fly traps, Charles. But thank you for your right=on comments. Thank you.

  17. 214 House members have sponsored & co-sponsored HR141, 218 is a majority in the House. 35 Senators have sponsored and co-sponsored S521, 51 is a majority in the Senate. What will be the next step if the supporters in the House and the Senate truly support the Bills?

  18. Time to go after all the Senators who have not supported S521. The House is moving ever so slowly, (218 as of today) but the Senate (35) is hardly making progress.
    Only 65 phone calls per month, that’s not that hard and could really make a difference! Everyone is needed, and we can call more than once! Not only the Senators in the State you live in but ALL Senators.
    Thanks for all who do call, if we are united we can make a difference.

  19. I see on this website a lot of moans and groans. Please stop it and be proactive. Like Bonnie and Jessie (?) state, “do something” and call the GOP and also “thank the Democrats for their support of H.R. 141”. For those of you moaning and groaning, it doesn’t work. There are over (what) 1,500 of us in California I am told? Get on the horn and do two things: (1) call Hakeem Jeffries (he is great) and “thank him” on behalf of the Democratic party for their support on H.R. 141 cosponsoring (202) 225-5936 and (most important people). We are Californians, right?

    The GOP House WHIP minority leader, Mr. Scalisi, IS on board with WEP \ GPO repeal. It is McCarthy who IS a Californian, who is hesitant. I sent him a letter over two months ago, not even the courtesy of a response. PEOPLE, WE ARE 68 VOTES AWAY FROM GETTING A VOTE ON THIS BILL. Bombard McCarthy’s office with phone calls. And I don’t know — you are educated people — phrase it as you like. But don’t just tell him “people are getting hurt.” Use numbers: the latest WEP penalties over the last five years stand at $408 – $463 per month. Use that in your phone call to McCarthy. People, I am not trying to be mean — we are all in the same boat. Without everyone of us “calling” McCarthy and almost literally threatening to never vote Republican again (remind his office we are all Californians but we have family nationwide), the Republicans aren’t going to do crap. McCarthy is the GOP House Majority leader. Remind him that 2020 is an election year and we will remember that we called his office and the Republicans only gave us to date 53 votes (11/11/19).

    People you need to bombard him. One person or two persons can’t do it alone. We need all of you to bash the Republican party via phone — 68 votes away people.

    Okay, here’s McCarthy’s Washington D.C. office phone number and if he gets slick and shuts it down b/c we are all calling, that will hurt him, right? Then resort to Twitter at @GOPHouse.gov I believe it is, or you can Google Kevin McCarthy’s Twitter account, or for that matter, just “Tweet” the House at the above address.

    Let’s hope 2020 is our banner year and we can all put this WEP / GPO stuff behind us (and celebrate as a group, right).

    God Bless all of you and to any who are veterans and/or have family who served.

    McCarthy’s D.C. Phone No. (202)-225-2915
    My suggestion: call “after hours” and leave a message. That way, they are forced to hear the voicemail messages.

  20. Hi folks: On this one, we can get just five (5) more phone calls to this guy, Mark McDonald, Legislative Director, for the Fraternal Order of Police and “thank Mark” for his support for H.R. 141. I reached out to Mark (very nice guy) asking his organization for “more Republican support” on this bill, and he was on board. So if four or five of you want to also reach out and “thank Mark” for supporting us and H.R. 141, please call him (after hours is fine so as not to disrupt their workflow) at: 202-547-8189. Thanks to all our warriors.

  21. Is there any way we can have the action alert committee, person, coordinate to call a certain states representatives and senators to support the repeal? Somehow we need to All get on the same page. Target a State give it a couple of months and see what the results are. During that month we call, write, Fax, whatever to contact Senators/Representatives. Make it two months or even three to see if our efforts are productive. Pick a State, (not California we have most of the State and both Senators) and lets go after each State one at a time.
    Unless I am way off base, l think this would be a way to move the repeal forward.
    Anyone else have a better idea? I have called when someone leaves a request to call. I hope everyone helps out and does the same. There has to be a way to measure our efforts? That is why one State at a time could be a way to measure our efforts. I’m open to all suggestions.
    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS!!!

  22. Hello Bill:

    Thank you, again, as usual for your thoughts and proactive approach. I just received word, via my California State retiree newsletter, that our Governor Newsom and our State legislature just signed off and approved the SJR 3 (Wilk) bill which asks Trump to sign and approve repeal of the WEP and GPO (fat chance, right)? Anyway, I thought it would be nice if some of us could email Governor Newsom (before Thanksgiving) and “thank him” for his efforts on our behalf (and have him thank our Legislature). I already did, but a few more “thank you’s” on his website wouldn’t hurt?

    Just my thoughts, but I think it would be nice for us to thank our Governor for getting on board with WEP/ GPO repeal.

    Thanks folks, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  23. I was poking around the Ways and Means Committee web site. The web site has navigation for contact but only three subjects, Fraud Waste and Abuse, (thought about that one) Tax returns, and internships.
    They do have letters we can submit for public record called committee submissions. I think it would be a good idea to let the Ways and Means Committee know the current facts on costs, and why the repeal is necessary. They should have that information but a letter acknowledging the widows and widowers, and seniors who have been hurt by discrimination should be put in writing. This lets the committee know, and on the record that they were notified of the destructive nature of the WEP, GPO. https://waysandmeans.house.gov/committee-activity/committee-submissions
    Maybe someone has already done this, if not we should!.
    I will email Gov. Newsom to thank him for his support.
    As always THANK YOU ONE AND ALL. We can make a difference. If you think your not needed think again what water does one drop at a time.

  24. Bill, I am currently calling, faxing and emailing congressional members in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. Apparently, the Texas Retired Teacher’s Association has dropped their support for H.R. 141 and gone with Neal’s bill which has all of 45 cosponsors. Why? Hopefully they will now come back onboard and help due to the 223 cosponsors we now have which is the shortest distance to our goal. We need to lobby the TRTA leadership of the practicality of H.R. 141 and the shortest path to passage. Texas is my next lobbying effort. Next to California, Texas is the # 2 state with the most numbers of people hurting from the WEP and GPO, with Ohio being 3rd. Both Texas and Ohio have lots of Republicans onboard. The state of Ohio has a majority of Republicans over Democrats but both parties’ cosponsors need hugs and thanks for doing the right thing to stop this injustice.
    Information: http://www.house.gov is the site for ALL U.S. Representatives and their district offices, their addresses, telephone and fax numbers. I have made up flyers and faxed them too. The list of U.S. Representatives’ is found at the Clerk’s site: http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.aspx , (it is on the right hand side column as a pdf). I printed it out and marked off each one that I call, the date and have an asterisk beside ones that have already cosponsored. It is a little preparation work but will save you time and possible embarrassment from calling someone who has already cosponsored it! I target only those who have not added their name as cosponsors whether Republican or Democrat. We have some states where more Republicans are cosponsors than Democrats. Recommendation: call a representative’s D.C. office first. Then their district office or vice versa if you live in that state. Be polite and thank them for taking your call. If a voicemail, leave one all the same. If asked where you live, be honest and let them know that federally elected officials vote for or against bills in D.C. that affect us ALL. Let them know that in an indirect way all members of congress represent us at the national level. I have found that some representatives DO NOT EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT! Give them reasons whether personal, (like my own WEP) or for the cause, e.g.; Reasons:
    1. 2.5 to 3 million plus Americans affected, and 5 million by extension
    2. It HELPS AMERICANS who’ve earned and paid into Social Security.
    3. It rights a wrong and pays a debt owed to millions and for others who
    have already died and were denied their full social security it morally apologizes for the
    injustice of a wrong done decades ago.
    4. It is sponsored by a Republican, but it is NON-PARTISAN (emphasize this for Republican reps.)
    5. Currently 223 members have added their names as cosponsors.
    6. Millions of seniors in your state, and thousands in your district with family.
    7. You will be thanked and rewarded for doing the right thing.
    8. It supports marriage, by rewarding spouses for enduring beyond 10 years (GPO). (all states)
    9. The votes are there but adding your name will expedite its passage.
    10. The fact that a Representative adds his or her name makes him or her aware and
    sensitive of the need and will stand him or her in good stead before, during
    and after political life.
    These are only suggestions (1 – 10). Practice your script beforehand. Add new positive reasons to vote for this wonderful bill and ask the staff member to review or repeat to you WHAT the bill is (141) before you hang up. Any representative can be made to look good or bad by his/her staff that filters the calls and information to that representative. (Let them know this if you must!) Thank them for taking your call and listening to you, and remind them that you will be going to http://www.congress.gov to check regularly to see when that elected representative adds his or her name and that they might get another call back to thank them after they’ve added their name. Always be polite and civil. This is lobbying at its best.
    Finally, PLEASE help me with calls to Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. Even 10 calls a week (2 a day) work if we have enough who do it. Thank you for all you do!

  25. I won’t live long enough to see this passed. This is not a priority for Congress. They have the money and are going to hold on to it as long as they can so spend it on whatever. IF I had what is owed to me every month, I wouldn’t have to work a job anymore at age 72. Widows should not be starving or have to pay anything to the govt.

  26. Hello All: Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Another thought for those that want to introduce themselves on behalf of “ssfairness.” Introduce yourselves to Police organizations — Fraternal Order of Police, National Retired Police Organization (and “of Cops”). Look them up. Bill, you are especially great at this, per your posts. These organizations will probably be thinking, “Who the Hell are you” and you have to give them the gist of why you are calling, who we are, what we represent, etc. Explain to them that “hey we are all in this together — and if we DONT get more Republican votes on Board, H.R. 141 will never pass.”

    This is true, folks. We need group members to reach out to police organizations that, whether we like it or not, seem to have a “Republican ear” and get them to get off their butts and tell more House GOP members to vote for passage. I always end any emails that I send (like I did on Facebook) that if the Republicans won’t, the Democrats will.

    Okay, I already called this week, but for those that want to get on board to get more Republican support, call next month and here’s a starting point:

    Scott / Jim Pasto (sp) at 202-547-8189. Good luck. Keep calling and “aim for Republican friendly organizations” like police. H.R. 141 currently has: 225 votes and needs 290. Even if every Dem voted for it, it still wouldn’t pass right now.

    WE NEED MORE REPUBLICAN HOUSE GOP members. Thanks all.

  27. You got it Donna, I’m all over it! Being a Vietnam vet. I thought about the American Legion, some veterans groups, I also know some retired police that might help out.
    I’m not sure why the South, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, TEXAS, have not supported more. I keep calling them with every chance I get. I know Georgia has 71,856 as per the Congressional Research report (12-2017). Surely the number has increased.
    We got this folks, keep up the calling, prayers, and anything else you think will help!

    1. Hi Bill, am a vet too but thankfully missed Vietnam. FYI, there are, as of December 2018, 73,839 in Georgia. With some extrapolation, it should be over 75,000 by now.

      Another excellent resource to lobby Republican lawmakers are fire fighters. Their numbers are up there with police.

      Keep at it with the Southern States. They have gotten calls and soon I think local organizations in those states might be calling their representatives too…

  28. Thought I would return and report. I sent an email to the headquarters of the American Legion asking for their support to lobby in favor of HR141 and S521. I gave our website address and explained that many Veterans, Police, Firefighters, Widows, Widowers, School Teachers and others nation wide are affected.
    I’ll let you know if anything comes of it.
    I have been concentrating on the Southern States and States that have little support.
    I came up with a system to make calling easier. I write down the state, then the number of districts, I put a yes in the number of the district who supported HR 141 then I call all Representatives that have not supported the legislation. The more you call the easier it is, so call, call, call….All you have to say is, “I am requesting the Congressman support HR 141” then you wait for a response and answer their questions or leave a message….Easy but makes a difference!
    We can do this if everyone does their part, so call…..One Staffer said to me, “Your number 39 who called today on this legislation”, so we are making our voice known. Lets not give up, quit, or even get discouraged. Just devote a period of time each day to make a change in the lives who have been hurt.
    If you can only make one phone call, that just might be the difference.

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