Family leave proposal would require delay in Social Security benefits

Under the CRADLE Act, parents would be required to notify the Social Security Administration that they plan to take paid parental leave benefits.

That written notice would have to be submitted to the agency between six months to one month before a new child is expected to arrive, either through child birth or adoption. At the same time, applicants would be expected to give their employers 30 days’ written notice.

Other rules would apply, including that applicants must be citizens or permanent residents. In addition, individuals must have a qualifying work record. That includes having worked four out of four, or five out of six, of the most recent quarters. Individuals who have worked for at least 20 quarters in total could also receive benefits.

Under the plan, parents could elect to take one, two or three months off. The amount of benefits they would receive during that time would be calculated based on Social Security’s current disability formula, which generally provides a higher payout on your current work history compared to calculations for retirement benefits.

For every month of paid parental leave they receive, their retirement benefits would be postponed by two months.

The plan is aimed at being budget neutral, meaning that it would not detrimentally affect Social Security or the national debt.

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