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Public service workers ask for Social Security help at Braun committee hearing

Mike Braun is a White man with dark hair, wearing glasses. He is gesturing as he speaks into a microphone.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) held a field hearing in Indianapolis for the Senate Special Committee on Aging on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Braun is the ranking member of the committee.

Public service workers are asking U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) for help with Social Security benefits they’re being denied.

Braun recently held a field hearing in Indianapolis for the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.

Toby Deaton, Indiana Fraternal Order of Police vice president, called on Braun to help repeal what’s called the Windfall Elimination Provision. It affects people who receive public pensions — such as police, firefighters and teachers — who worked second jobs for which they receive Social Security benefits when they retire.

Deaton said under federal law, those benefits are slashed dramatically, often by hundreds of dollars a month.

“We never thought we would be penalized and treated differently and financially harmed for serving our committees,” Deaton said. “Let me be clear about this — what we are asking for is simply what we have earned.”

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Repealing the provision has bipartisan backing, and Braun said he’s supportive. The issue among Republicans, he said, will be paying for it.

“It’s a fairly significant fiscal and there’s enough to pay for it, it’s just a question of whether you can find it,” Braun said.

Repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision is estimated to cost $150 billion over the first 10 years. Braun suggested money could be found in unspent COVID-19 relief dollars.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.