New law gives Tribal Leaders access to social security coverage for first time

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, the White House announced the Tribal Social Security Fairness Act of 2018 had been signed into law. It allows Indian tribes to enter into agreements with the Social Security Administration to provide Social Security and Medicare coverage for members of tribal councils.

The new law is welcomed by the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe where Tribal Council Chairman Robert M. de los Angeles said, “This bill gives Tribal leaders the ability to pay into the federal social security program for the first time.”

The bill received broad bi-partisan support, passing the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous consent. Chairman de los Angeles commended Senator Cantwell, Congressman Reichert, Congresswoman DelBene and Congressman Kilmer for their bi-partisan efforts on the new legislation. He added, “We know that without their hard work, this would not have become law.”

According to a Snoqualmie Tribe news release the new law will give tribal elected leaders parity with other elected officials in qualifying for federal retirement benefits.

de los Angeles stated, “It is long overdue, and another important step allowing Tribes to exercise their sovereignty and allow their leaders to opt-in to this system.”

Snoqualmie Tribal Council. Photo courtesy of the Snoqualmie Tribe

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