The brief’s key findings are:
- Traditionally, Social Security has supported family caregivers – typically women – through a spousal benefit.
- Today, however, many women are not eligible for this benefit because they are not married or they qualify for their own worker’s benefit.
- As a result, many mothers receive little to no support to offset lost earnings due to childrearing responsibilities.
- In response, some propose caregiver credits to boost Social Security earnings, a common provision in other developed countries.
- These credits could be offset by reducing benefits somewhat for higher earners.