Rubio/Wagner Bill

Economic Security for New Parents Act

What it does:

  • Creates an option for new parents to pull forward a portion of their Social Security benefits to use for paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

  • Parents taking the option will receive a Social Security benefit to use for at least two months of leave across their household.

    • The benefit amount is large enough that nearly all parents making below median family income of about $70,000 will be able to take two months leave at over 70 percent of their wages.

    • Many parents, especially those with low incomes, will be able to finance longer than three months of leave with the amount of the benefit.

  • Two-parent households will be able to transfer their benefit to their spouse.

    • For example, one parent could use the benefit for two weeks of leave, while the other uses their individual benefit + the other parent’s benefit for at least 6 weeks.

  • “Stay-at-home” parents with an earnings history that meets eligibility requirements will also be able to take the option.

  • Parents taking the option will delay the date at which they begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits by about 3 to 6 months per benefit taken, as determined by the Social Security Administration each year.

How does it work?

  • Expecting parents will file an application with SSA. Upon verification of the parent’s eligibility, SSA will notify parents of their expected eligibility for the parental leave benefit.

  • After the birth or adoption of the child, approved parents will provide SSA with additional documentation, and upon verification SSA will remit the parental leave benefit.

  • The benefit will be delivered in two monthly payments of equivalent size.


*The gray area in the first chart represents the range of possibilities under a transferable benefit, assuming spouses of equivalent incomes and spouse taking the lower period of leave takes leave for 2 weeks.

** All amounts assume annual income is stable in inflation-adjusted terms in the years preceding birth. Actual amounts will vary depending on the variance of the individual’s income in the years preceding birth.


Download the Economic Security for New Parents Act Fact Sheet