Social Security’s Benefits for Children

Social Security is with you through life’s journey — from birth, to death, and even beyond, by helping to care for surviving dependents. Every year, about 4.4 million children receive monthly benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial situation in an otherwise turbulent time.

Earlier this year, National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March both raised awareness about medical conditions in children. Many families with children who have birth defects or developmental disabilities need medical and financial help. This is where Social Security’s commitment to helping children and families is most evident.

Social Security pays benefits through our disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Our disability program provides vital income for disabled children, including people disabled since childhood. To qualify for children’s benefits under our disability program, the applicant must be the child of a parent entitled to benefits and meet Social Security’s strict definition of disability. A person is disabled under the Social Security Act if he or she can’t work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death.

The SSI program provides payments to blind or disabled children who live in households with low income and limited resources if they meet our strict definition of disability. You can find more information on eligibility requirements by visiting our website.

Our publication, Benefits for Children explains all we do to care for children. Our website is also an excellent source of information. If you think a child you know is eligible for benefits, don’t wait. Share this information and help improve the child’s quality of life today.

A Constant Quest to Improve Our Online Services

Graphic of address bar on computer with cursor arrow, Shooting computer screenWe know you’re busy and need ways to be more productive. Our online services make it possible for you to conduct business with us when and where it’s convenient for you. Our goal is to provide you with world-class service and our online services are a convenient, cost-effective, and secure way for us to better serve you.  Continue reading

A Lasting Way to Show Your Love

Hands holding up a paper heart to the sunSpringtime is upon us and love is in the air! Valentine’s Day may be but a memory and the storefront displays have moved on to new holidays, but you can still express your feelings in a meaningful way.

A powerful way to prove your love is to show that you care about a family member or friend’s future. Everyone you love probably wants to enjoy retirement. The decisions of when and how to retire require preparation and careful planning.

Social Security is a safety net that keeps millions of elderly Americans out of poverty. At www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire you’ll find valuable resources that you can access 24 hours a day from your preferred location.

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Don’t Be a Scam Victim—You’re in Control

IRSWith the tax season wrapping up, scammers are out in full force. Perhaps you received a phone call demanding payment from the IRS. They may threaten you with legal action if you do not pay immediately, or say things like, “we are sending the police to arrest you.” While these calls may seem scary, it is important to understand that they are not legitimate. This scam, which started in October 2013, has claimed over $29 million from its victims. Unfortunately, this is just one of many scams designed to make you believe you are speaking with a legitimate government official. Continue reading

Planning Now Cuts Back on Future Uncertainty

 a couple sitting together on a sofa looking at their mySocialSecurity accountAn old saying tells us that death and taxes are the only guarantees in life. While we know it’s inevitable, death is not something we like to think about. The loss of a loved one is overwhelming. It can leave you devastated, uncertain of what steps to take.

This is especially true when you lose a spouse. The death of a spouse is devastating emotionally, physically, and financially.

Social Security survivors benefits protect your surviving spouse if Continue reading

OPM and SSA Partner to Meet the Need for Additional Administrative Law Judges

two lawyers shaking handsEvery day agencies across the Federal Government come together to provide important services to the American people. This spring, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) joined forces to recruit prospective candidates for administrative law judge (ALJ) positions. ALJs are integral to SSA and other agencies to make impartial decisions on such issues as disability determinations, licensing, or grievances. Nearly 2,000 ALJs work in 27 Federal agencies across the government.

SSA’s hearing and appeals operation is Continue reading

Social Security’s Commitment to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Chinese Grandfather Giving Granddaughter Ride On Shoulders In ParkDuring the month of May, we observe Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the United States. We celebrate the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the countless ways they enrich our nation. Like America, the AAPI community draws strength from the diversity of its distinct cultures—each with its own vibrant history and range of perspectives.

I am Andy Liu and I serve as the Social Security Administration’s General Counsel. As a Chinese American and member of the AAPI community, I understand the many challenges and needs of our community. I joined Social Security for its mission – delivering Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the American public. This mission is not complete unless we reach everyone entitled to receive our services.

Social Security treats all people Continue reading

A Special Arrival!

BabyNameQuiz_Boys23bJust delivered! Social Security is happy to announce the arrival of the top baby names of 2015!

For almost 20 years, we’ve been the authority on the most popular baby names based on requests for Social Security numbers for newborns. We reveal the top names for boys and girls each year, and our records date back to the 1880s! The names show us how America’s trends and culture have diversified, and how our choices have broadened.

What makes a baby name popular? Trends in new baby names often follow popular culture, influenced by favorite characters in books or movies, as well as religious meanings. The top names of 2015 Continue reading

Ancient Wisdom Applies to Today and Tomorrow

Adin_Strauss_DSC1624During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services. The theme for this Faith Week of Action is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

One of the common misconceptions about Buddhism is that it is detached from the affairs of daily living.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Buddhist tradition focuses on cultivating the wisdom to differentiate between short-term pleasure and long-term well-being, and the courage to make the best choices.

Among the ancient Buddhist teachings, we find detailed, practical advice on how to handle our money. One sutra, or teaching, advises us to “set aside one fourth of our earnings for times of need.”

Social Security is a solid partner that helps us to prepare for times of need — retirement, disability or the unexpected death of a family’s breadwinner.  Continue reading