Joyce, Sykes Introduce Fair Social Security for Domestic Violence Survivors Act

Nov 06, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Emilia Sykes (OH-13) recently reintroduced the Fair Social Security for Domestic Violence Survivors Act which would expand access to Social Security spousal benefits for individuals who get divorced because they suffered domestic abuse by their spouse.

“Victims of domestic violence should never feel the need to stay in their marriage due to the fear of not being able to support themselves financially after leaving their abuser,” said Rep. Joyce, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “This bipartisan legislation reduces the current barriers to access Social Security spousal benefits, so that victims and survivors don’t feel forced to stay in an unsafe situation.”

“We know that many spouses don’t leave unsafe marriages simply because they can’t afford to. Survivors who are already taking the courageous step of removing themselves from a dangerous situation shouldn’t be penalized financially when they leave an abusive marriage. The Fair Social Security for Domestic Violence Survivors Act will empower survivors by giving them the financial resources they need to leave their abuser,” said Rep. Sykes. “I’m glad to lead this bipartisan legislation with Rep. Joyce because everyone deserves to live safely and securely in our communities.”

Currently, couples must be married for at least 10 years to be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. The Fair Social Security for Domestic Violence Survivors Act lowers this minimum marital threshold to five years for individuals whose former spouse has been convicted of domestic violence or abuse.

Statistically, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. Victims also cite lack of financial resources as a major barrier to leaving an unsafe relationship.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for free, 24/7 support. 

Recent Posts

Feb 29, 2024

Congressman Joyce Releases Statement on Continuing Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement after voting for H.R. 7463, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations and Other Matters Act, 2024. This bill avoids a government shutdown and allows additional time to negotiate final spending bills for Fiscal Year 2024.  “As Chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, I have consistently championed […]

Feb 12, 2024

Joyce, Rouzer, Pallone, Sykes Introduce Bill to Preserve America’s Beaches

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), and Emilia Sykes (D-OH-13) reintroduced the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. The funding provided through this bill helps state and local governments test, monitor, and identify contamination in recreational waters, such as the Great Lakes.  “Every year, Ohio families and tourists […]

Feb 7, 2024

Congressman Joyce Releases Statement on Vote to Impeach Secretary Mayorkas

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement on his vote to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.  “In February 2021, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and pledged to faithfully discharge the duties of his office. The Secretary of Homeland Security has the […]