2015: The Year In Review

2015 was a special year for Social Security – we launched our very first blog, “Social Security Matters.” This blog has helped us cover the issues and concerns that are most important to our beneficiaries and their families. Thank you for reading our blog and joining the conversation about Social Security. We look forward to having more conversations with you in the upcoming year.

While we were partial to storytelling about the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, we invite you to check out our top ten Social Security Blog Posts for 2015:

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

The Medicare open enrollment period ran from October 15 through December 7. This was the time to make changes to your current Medicare coverage for 2016. To get a jump-start on open enrollment season, we offered five helpful tips to make sure you were prepared to make a change on your Medicare coverage.

  1. Extra Services For Employers

Social Security helps employers too. Business Services Online (BSO) provides services for employers that make managing employee information quick, easy and secure. Once you register, you can interact directly with us through our online services to meet many of your needs.

  1. Disability Benefits: The Numbers Tell the Story

Social Security released two new online data resources based on disability benefits: the state disability fact sheet and a national disability issue paper. Both of these online resources show how Social Security continues to fulfill our promise of support to America’s workers and their families.

  1. myRA, U.S. Treasury’s New Retirement Savings Option

Are you looking for a simple, safe and affordable way to save for your retirement? The U.S. Treasury now offers a retirement savings account called myRA. This account is designed for people who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through their job.

  1. Reporting Changes is Your Responsibility

If you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes that can affect your eligibility for benefits. These changes must be reported no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change is occurred. You can find a full list of reporting responsibilities in the blog post.

  1. Replacing Your Medicare Card – Know Before You Go (Online)

Have you lost or damaged your Medicare card? You can order a replacement card easily with a my Social Security account. All you need is internet access and your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.

  1. The Best Age for YOU to Retire

Retirement is a very exciting time in a person’s life. When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on your own personal factors, such as health, family, current cash needs and your future financial needs. You can retire as early as age 62 but the longer you wait, the more your benefit amount will be.

  1. Ex-Spouse Benefits and You

Finally, some good news about getting divorced. If you’re age 62, unmarried and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record.

  1. No Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2016

This was disappointing news for our audience. The Consumer Price Index did not rise since the last cost-of-living adjustment in 2015. As a result, Social Security benefit amounts will stay the same in 2016.

  1. Two New Arrivals: Our New Blog and Top Ten Baby Names for 2014

May 8, 2015, was the launch of our blog with the top ten baby names of 2014. Since 1987, Social Security has released the most requested baby names based on requests for Social Security numbers for newborns. In 2014, “Noah” won for the males and “Emma” won for the girls.

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41 thoughts on “2015: The Year In Review

  1. WE RECEIVED A MESSAGE ON OUR FACEBOOK, IN THE NAME OF AN OLD FRIENDS NAME; THE MESSAGE SAID ” YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A SOCIAL SECURITY GRANT ” SIMPLY APPLY BY TEXTING A PHONE NUMBER” THEN ASSURING THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE A $170,000 GRANT AS A SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIANT ETC.
    WE KNOW THIS IS FAULSE BUT MANY SENIOR CITIZENS MAY NOT BE AS ALERT OR KNOWLEDGABLE.
    NATIONAL VETERANS DISABILITY COUNSELOR.
    MS

    • Why is it that people just assume because you are an older person that you no longer can find work or that you have become an idiot. You are all going to get here. So why don’t you start treating people with the respect they deserve. Just because we get old DOES NOT turn us into the idiots people see us as. We get put out to pasture and forgotten about. This new generation has a lot to learn about the older folks. They use to be respected, full of wisdom worth listening to and wise. I love my Granny’s advice and wisdom. Sorry, just can’t stand it when I see an article stating that because you are a certain age it makes you stupid.

  2. I have a question, why is my spouse not entitled to her s/s benefits while she worked for private business, and later was employed by the state of Maine collecting Maine state retirement, where did her money go that she put into s/s before she worked for the state of Maine?

    • Make it your business to learn all you can about your benefits. Look into the Government Offset and the Windfall Elimination provision for Gov’t workers.

  3. I’ve been trying to get my Part B since August 15th 2015.. And to this date I’ve received nothing.. I tried October. Nov. and dec. and I get that an answer that it takes 3 months??? To complete???
    How can I get better results? Is it lack of employees? Or lack of managing– I need Part B for my State retirement… Please expedite this slow procedure???
    Sincerely.
    N. C. Campos

    • It depends, if your enrollment cannot be processed locally due to computer limitations, then your local office must rely on a program service center to process manually. Yes, SSA is very short of staff. It is controlled by the National budget. SSA does a great job considering the volume of people they serve. Try calling the toll free number.

  4. Will someone explain to me what effects that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 will have on people that is disabled and not at Retirement age. This Act was pass and sign by the President and is to take effect May 1, 2016, I am concerned because i am five years from retirement age and it is said that it will effect all baby boomers!!

    • The act as passed has NO effect on disabled workers. It did effect those who are to receive retirement benefits. For instance your spouse can’t file and freeze payments so you can draw as a dependent and then file later on to receive full benefits on your own record..

  5. I have been paying a penalty of a higher premium on my Medicare part B since I retired in 2007 @ age 67. I was,still employed at 65 obviously. I didnt sign up for part B before I retired because I had health insurance through USA feds. I thought I was,saving the government in not having to insure me for part B until I actually retired. This did not and still does,not seem fair to me. I realise now that rules,are rules but in my case I thought I was,doing the responsible thing by waiting until I retired. It seems like I am being punished for the rest of my life for trying to be honest and responsible. There should be exceptions in cases,like mine, shouldn’t there?
    Thanks

    • You need to send your local SSA office a written request for a “premium surcharge rollback” and provide proof that you had 1.)a qualified employer group health plan and 2.) we’re actively employed for those months after attaining age 65….you should pay normal premiums if these two things are true. It might take a few weeks or so for a response. Good luck.

    • If you had employer coverage you are not penalized and your penalty would begin when you were no longer working. For example if you retired at age 80 and filed for Medicare at age 86 you’d be penalized for 6 years @ 10% a year.

  6. What’s the deal on the checks getting cut we the disabled are not going to make at all. If you cut the disability checks you might shoot all the disabled people then the ones worked for that money can’t have it not fair cut the veterans benefits also big time

  7. Question: I nursed my Dad for nine months before he passed. Does his SS allow me any redress? Who pays for that daytime nighttime service? He was a US Medical doctor…Just wondering?

    • Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 eliminates aggressive claiming loopholes related to “deemed” filing and voluntary suspension of benefits. The new law will be implemented on a prospective basis only.
      Our legislative and policy staffs are diligently working with Congress to analyze the intent of the legislation and update our instructions.
      Please check back for updates.

  8. I disagree with the no cola adjustment for Social Security payments. There may not have been any inflation last year, but that did not stop my supplemental plans B and D from raising the cost of their monthly payments, not does it stop the price of food, prescriptions, electricity, heat, etc. that we seniors on a fixed income have to pay with the same amount of money as we had last year from Social Security payments. Just where does that form of inflation come in when we need the increase more than ever??? This makes no sense to me at all and seem very unfair to those of us who worked for years only to be given less and have to again pay taxes on the same money we paid taxes on when we worked and paid our share into S.S.

    • You did not pay taxes on the employer contribution toward your retirement. You don’t pay taxes either unless you are a higher income individual. You can shop around each year during the open enrollment period and change your supplemental and part D coverage to something that better suits your needs.

  9. I was told by ssa that I could not get by disability an widows benefit so I waited till I was amost 63 before I went to apply for the widows benefits idid start getting it but they would not go back to when I turned 60 why?

    • Hi Marie and thank you for your question. Individuals must officially file an application to receive Social Security benefits. For widow’s benefits, we generally allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after the applicant has reached his or her full retirement age.
      No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before individuals reach their full retirement age.

  10. A message of thanks and gratitude. A time of good cheer, helping others and being thankful. Please try if you can to take a moment to take a look and maybe readjust the monthly budget, and if needed, a strong positive outlook on goals and aspirations. Remember, 2016 is the first year in several, without a cost of living increase…

  11. JUST CURIOUS. THERE HAS BEEN NEWS GOING AROUND THAT SOME PEOPLE WERE GOING TO GET EXTRA MONEY IN SOME KIND OF CHECKS. I HAVE SOME FRIENDS TO SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.I THINK IT IS A JOKE SOME ONE STARTED.I TOLD MY FRIEND I WOULD CHECK IT OUT..THANK YOU

    • Please be careful, John. For official announcements related to Social Security benefits or programs, go directly to our website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov. Also beware, that all announcement and answers that we provide through social media, contain our official seal. If you do not see our seal on a post, it did not come from the Social Security Administration. If you suspect fraud, report it!

  12. SOMEONE, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT DOES GAS PRICING HAVE TO DO WITH RETIRIES GETTING A RAISE IN THEIR SS CHECK. THE AVERAGE RECEPIENT DO NOT OWN CARS. THEY DO US ANY KIND OF WAY AND WE JUST LAY DOWN AND TAKDE IT. MEDICINE AND DIABETIC FOOD IS MORDE EXPENSIVE THAN THE AVERAGE FOOD. PLEASE RESPOND.

  13. I agree, I paid into ssh for over 40 years and not to get a small increase is pretty sad. One percent while the state employees in our state give themselves a Hugh salary increase. No there was no t401 ibnn our company. I was a single parent of 3 grills. This should be better for the 21st century. Very sad for a great country.

  14. 2-1-2015 We signed up for Medicare Part- B.
    We signed up for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
    We signed up for Medicare Part-D.
    For about 15 yrs.’ we had AmeriHealth HMO. In 2015 the cost and benefits were not to our benefit. We purchase a Medicare Part-D so that we could continued to get our medication in BRAND. Which was the same medication we both have been taking for years. Now for 2016 we were told Medicare will not approved for us to continue to get our medication in BRAND. We can only get our medication in Generic now This is very scary because we know the coating on each one can be different and/or bit different ingredients. Between us we have 12 medications and doing very well with those same medication we have been taking for years. To change all at the same time from BRAND to GENERTIC is very unsetting for both of us. Can you tell me WHY!!

  15. Please tell me if I am qualified to draw a spousal benefit based on my ex-spouse’ record to whom I was married 35 years. I was born December 1950 and will reach my full retirement age December 2016. I am currently working. I do not intend to file for my retirement benefits until I am age 70. My ex-spouse filed for his retirement benefits before he reached his full retirement age. Am I entitled to receive a spousal benefit until I file for my retirement benefits based on these facts?

    • Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 eliminates aggressive claiming loopholes related to “deemed” filing and voluntary suspension of benefits. The new law will be implemented on a prospective basis only. Our legislative and policy staffs are diligently working with Congress to analyze the intent of the legislation and update our instructions. Please check back for updates.

  16. Retired congressmen Salary $———?
    Retired average city worker salary$——-?
    pay per week for average head of household not in any union$——?
    Congressman pay per week$——?
    There is no comparison, social security is a big joke!

  17. To Ray Fernandez. I am not sure when the Bipartisan Budget Act was signed into law, but at this date, Jan 21, you only have 3 months and 1 week until May 1, 2016. How in the WORLD are you and your staff going to be able to get the message to us in time for us to ACT in time.?

  18. With no raise how do you think my husband and I can pay a hundred dollars ded for one of our meds. That’s two hundred dollars coming from our check’s that will hurt us financially next month. Is there anything we can do to get help with this

  19. Do I have to declare state (CA) disability payments as income? I also received one week of unemployment before I fell and had to take my SSI at 66 instead of at 70 as I had planned. Does that unemployment need to be declared also?

    • Hi Jill, for tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this helps.

  20. When is SSA going to get out of the Middle Ages? My Medicare benefits have been terminated. Yet, when I offer to provide them with my billing that shows no past dues; they will not even look at it. They just assume I am wrong. Also, the information on their website indicates my account is up to date. They will not accept anything by email and their toll free number people’s only answer is to refer you to their website or go to the local field office. As citizens we should demand this waste of funds be eliminated immediately.

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