Tester reveals new report highlighting importance of Social Security for veterans

Senator cites Stevensville Navy veteran who would be impacted by cuts to benefits

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today highlighted a new report that shows America’s veterans and their families rely heavily on Social Security and would suffer significant impacts if Social Security benefits are cut.

Tester hosted a news conference in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs hearing room to highlight the new report’s findings (video HERE).  The report includes specific stories of veterans and families of veterans who rely on Social Security. 

The report finds:

  • More than one-third of Social Security recipients are veterans or veterans’ family members
  • Virtually all veterans will rely on Social Security at some point in their lives
  • Social Security currently pays benefits to more than 9 million veterans nationwide, an estimated 40,000 of whom live in Montana

Talking with veterans and federal officials, Tester spoke about a veteran from Stevensville, Mont., who served for six years in the Navy before being injured.  The Montana veteran told Tester that his monthly $550 in Social Security benefits make up the majority of his income and that any cuts would jeopardize his quality of life.

“This report tells us what Montanans already know—that hardworking folks across the country, including our veterans, can’t afford to weaken Social Security,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “Some politicians think the way to balance the budget is to cut veterans’ benefits, or services like Social Security and Medicare.  They’re wrong.  We can responsibly cut spending while honoring our promises to those who’ve served.  That’s a Montana value, and that’s what I’m fighting for.”

Tester also noted that Montana was home to the first Social Security law in the country, when Montana Governor Joe Dixon signed an “old age pension” bill into law, 12 years before President Roosevelt signed his Social Security law.

A copy of the report, Social Security: Serving Those Who Serve Our Nation, is available on Tester’s website, HERE.

Tester has also posted additional information about what Social Security means for Montana HERE.