On January 23, I became the acting commissioner of Social Security. That makes me responsible for overseeing one of the nation’s largest and most important social insurance programs, providing retirement, survivors, and disability protection to almost all Americans. With a $12 billion budget and almost 64,000 employees serving in more than 1,500 offices across the country and around the world, plus 16,000 state employees making disability determinations, we issue more than $960 billion in payments to nearly 66 million people each year. I am humbled to lead an agency with a legacy and continuing mission that helps so many people. Continue reading
January 16 was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — a national holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality.
Many people commemorate this holiday by serving their community and giving to others who may be less fortunate. In many ways, this is what Social Security does every day, all year long. Continue reading
It’s 2017, and that means you might be one more year closer to retirement. Whether you’re at your very first job or wrapping up a successful career, there are always new things to learn about when it comes to saving for the future. So why not make retirement planning part of your New Year’s resolution!
Putting money in a high yield savings account (if you can find one) is always smart, but you can do even more. The U.S. Department of the Treasury now offers a retirement savings option called myRA. There’s no minimum to open the account, you can contribute what you can afford, and you can withdraw funds with ease. To learn more about myRA, visit www.myra.gov/.
Hopefully, your employer chips in a little. An employer-sponsored retirement plan or 401(k) can be a useful way to set aside funds for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching funds on what you invest. If you don’t work for an employer that offers this type of plan, there are many other plans designed to help you save for retirement.
From solo 401(k)s to traditional and Roth IRAs, there are programs designed to fit a multitude of budgets. The earlier you start to save, the more funds you’ll have ready for retirement.
And, as always, there is Social Security, which is funded by taxes you pay while you work. To get estimates of future benefits and check your earnings record for accuracy, you can create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Along with giving up bad habits, this New Year start a good habit that can make a lasting, positive change.
This is the season of caring. No matter your religion or belief, December is also considered a time to focus on the children we love. Whether we’re wrapping Santa’s gifts, buying Hanukkah treats, decorating the house in celebration of Kwanzaa, or volunteering for a toy drive, children add joy to the holiday season. And we at Social Security definitely know a thing or two about helping children. Continue reading
From women and children, to the elderly and disabled, Social Security has you covered. Because we value and appreciate the differences that make up our nation, our programs are as diverse as those we serve. We’re with you throughout every stage of your life, and we’re always working to provide services that meet your changing needs. Continue reading
Now, more than ever, is a good time to reflect on diversity to build a better future, as a unified nation. Let’s celebrate our differences without forgetting our fundamental likeness. We are all Americans who believe in freedom and democracy for all.
This is what the American dream is all about. Everyone deserves a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship.
Social Security has retirement benefits and the tools to help you plan for your retirement, and to apply for benefits online. We also provide disability benefits to individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from working. If the disabled individual has dependent family members, they can also receive payments.
If you or anyone you know is disabled, they may qualify for disability benefits. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age. To see if you meet our strict definition of disabled, read our publication Disability Benefits.
Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. Go online to learn more about Social Security’s survivors benefits.
Honoring each other begins with fair and equal treatment. Social Security guarantees that, if you pay into the system and meet our eligibility requirement, you will receive the benefits due to you. We want to make sure our diverse nation is covered, that everyone gets the benefits they deserve, and that no one is left out. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov to learn more.
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.
An 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
During 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