167 thoughts on “Finding Value—and my Social Security—in light of Budget Cuts

    • They are unionized. Federal Unions are restricted in what they can negotiate and this is one of them. We have had hiring freezes and staff reductions since the mid 90’s, so this is nothing new. 20 years ago we had the same backlogs. Whenever we increase efficiency through automation, such increases are not used to reduce backlogs, what happens is further staff reductions.

        • Hi Dale. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

          • That is not true about borrowed money always being paid back. In fact it hasn’t been and it was a big issue in the 2000 election. This is where Al Gore was proposing a lockbox system to keep excess trust fund money from being borrowed and not repaid.

          • Jenna, in 2011 SSA stopped mailing statement altogether saying the agency lack of funds. Then due to public outcry about the lack of information to the very workers funding SSA. In 2014, SSA began mailing only ever five year to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 who aren’t receiving retirement benefits and do not yet have a My Social Security account.

            Now again, the SSA is only going to mail paper Social Security Statements to people age 60 and over, who are not getting benefits and don’t have a My Social Security account.

            This is unacceptible. How are those of us paying into Social Security supposed to “Find value” in Social Security when we don’t get a statement of benefits until its too late to matter. SSA biggest expense are wages paid to employees. Instead of eliminating statements to the tax payers, eliminate some or all of the unnecesary bureaucrats. It will save many more dollars. We the people are getting fed up with continuing to get over taxed and under appreciated.

        • Check Congressmen & Congresswomen’s pockets and purses. (LOL) The pockets should be empty of SS benefits since they don’t contribute!!

        • it is not supposed to be a pay-as-you-go system. In fact Congress has borrowed 5.9 trillion dollars from our trust funds over the years. We the People demand Congress repay this debt. We paid into this system on the proposition that we had insurance for disability and old age. You owe us this because we paid for it. Just as any company sewing a product must make it good, so should the government make Social Security good. They can borrow 9 trillion dollars to keep the shareholders of our traffic medical system whole when they take Obamacare apart, they can also issued new debt to pay us back the 5.9 trillion dollars to the trust fund

        • Look at the history of Social Security and you will learn that during Lyndon B. Johnson’s term Congress decided to utilize / sidetrack Reserve Social Security Benefits as a “new welfare” benefit. People came into America in droves to get the assistance.

        • Congress has “borrowed” from Social Security at least 3 times during my lifetime and never paid it back…although I was told by someone else they actually “borrowed” 5 times.

          So Congress is your culprit. I was in my teens the first time they did that and my grandmother had a hissy fit over it.

          They never should have allowed this to be a part of the “budget” that they can access for other purposes. It should have remained in separate accounts so that nobody could steal it!

          • Steph, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Thanks!

    • Publicize the website for anyone to create their account and seek that information whenever they wish. That is how the private sector successfully works. This should have been done years ago; everyone under 60 uses electronic devices.

          • They have old computers that do not have voice access. Times are limited to 30 minutes so people like me only have one usable hand can barely get signed in before time is up. And no the street is not crawling with Good Samaritans who will come to the library with me so I can use it. What about the people who had strokes and lost use of both hands or live in towns without Public Library. Got a snap answer for them

      • @ALjojo: I’m, this WAS done years ago. Social Security and in fact every department and agency of the federal government has had incredibly informative websites up and running since he Internet began. I personally setup an account here and with Medicare nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve been using other government websites for far longer. Kind of unfair to blame SS or the “government” when the information has been there but people just don’t bother to look. And it has been publicized as well; all calls to any government agency, including SS, tell callers that in the first minute of their answering recording. Americans have to start stepping up and taking a little responsibility. Everyone screams for “smaller government” and then complains that it’s not doing enough for them or just the opposite. that it’s a “nanny state,” telling them what to do. Just no pleasing people. Complaining and blaming have passed football for the favorite American national pastime.

  1. I’m sorry to hear that Congress has not allocated enough funds to pay for the extremely important work you are doing for Americans. I hope this issue will come to public attention so that Social Security and its administration will receive better support in 2017. Thanks so much for what you do for all of us.

      • ditto on margaret’s comments above.

        also, if majority of us would NOT be turned down 1st time applying for SSDI work benefits when we have SUBSTANTIAL MEDICAL RECORDS EVIDENCE, your staff would not have to continuously work on our ssdi claims!

        it took me 5 yrs. and 2 claims to be approved. my medical files were 2.5 inches think!!

        just 1 way of utilizing your staff better.

        i’ll never forget 1 of your employees also calling me at 7 am waking me up out of a sound sleep when i was also having severe sleeping problems too. who can be coherent at 7 am? grrr.

        bettyg, iowa

  2. I am grateful Social Security without it ,I would have a difficult time because of the economy. I hope money will always be there for others .

    • Social Security is one of the most gigantic, horrendous Ponzi Schemes ever foisted upon the people of the United States.

      There is a reason why many people refer to it as Social Insecurity — they are forced to pay money in in their 20s – 50s, and they know the entire Social Security Scam will be completely insolvent by the time they might actually want to get back some of their money as they approach age 70.

      What we need, if there has to be any government mandated retirement plan is to give every new person entering into the Social Insecurity System a private account, that they pay into and that nobody else can snag money from.

      Think Medical Savings Account, and you’ll get the general idea.

      Ideally, anyone already in the SS system would be able to opt out and receive a check for the present value of what they have been forced to pay into it. There should be no taxes on income from a SS cancellation.

      Thank the powers that be (especially President-elect Donald Trump) that we have a good chance of not being ripped off by Obamacare starting in late January, 2017.

      Regards from someone who can do the math,
      Mandelbrot Set

      • Bush & Cheney SHOULD be MADE to PAY BACK 3 TRILLION + $$$$ to Soc. Sec. ( for the War in Iraq & NON EXISTENT Weapons of Mass Destruction). BTW: OBAMACARE has NOTHING to DO with Social Security.. It’ Big Pharmaceutical Co.s that jack up the prices of Medicine.

        • You are so right about pharmaceutical companies. I have to take multaq and eliquis since my heart surgery and it means “have to” or it could cost me my life. This year multaq’s cost is over $1700 and eliquis is over $1200 and my co-pay for the two is over $400 and of course I cannot do that co pay. I am trusting to get extra help. I do not qualify for medicaid in my state. So yes, put the BLAME where it belongs the billionaire pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession too.

      • Many ppl again with no insurance. Therefore the uninsured will use the emergency rooms of.hospitals as a doctor’s office. Guess what the government will pay anyway. Think about it.

        • Nope, the government doesn’t pay for all those people to go to the ER, YOU do, when they charge everyone with insurance higher rates. This causes the insurance premiums to go up. Plus, the ER has to stabilize you, but they DO still billyou, and if you can’t pay, you’ll be sent to collection, and eventually they get a judgment and you end up filing bankruptcy. And the prices go up again and the cycle starts anew. Yes, let’s make sure 35 million people lose their insurance. And be sure you thank your GOVERNOR for refusing to expand Medicaid in your state when the federal government was offering to pay for it with the ACA money obtained from slightly increasing the taxes on the very few wealthy. The obtuse and stubborn refusal of people to learn the truth is astonishing.

          • Social Security was, has been, and is a good plan. It’s just that they, Congress or the powers that be, need to get it back to what it used to be. People who’ve never paid into the system should NOT get a dime. Many people who’ve worked 30, 40, 50, or 60 years paying into the system deserve their proper amount based upon time worked IN THE SYSTEM.
            Additionally, I wonder why or how the Obama Care thing was / has been called a success with around 30 or so million people enrolled and getting services with associated fees they need to pay. Last I read a month or so ago, America’s population is approximately 300 million individuals. I don’t get the math ratio there. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi still sings its praises. Wonder if she ever read any of the Obama Care documents; “We have to implement it to know what’s inside of it.”

      • Just give it time and Trump’s Alonzo Scheme will bankrupt the government and he’ll walk away with all the money. Notes from a mathematician.

        • Please Give Our New President Donald Trump a chance to work on it. He’s only been President a few weeks. It’s impossible to do everything at once! He’s already been working day and night on many issues. Appointed Cabinet members and other White House staff are all digging in and working hard for the American people. Please be gracious and kind to them; treat them as you would like to be treated. They do NOT deserve to be bashed verbally or kicked to the curb.

  3. The ‘trust fund’ which we old timers paid into years ago should be used to pay retiree, disabled benefits , not the present worker contributions??

    • There never was a ‘trust fund’, the system was designed to pay retirees from taxes paid by current workers. It also was not expected to pay for all of the retirees needs but to supplement the retirees own savings.

      • @ Paul Williamson, with the cost of everything steadily rising, and the wages of workers constantly being stagnated; who has enough money to save anymore? How do people who lost their savings in the housing debacle [that our banking system caused, BTW] get their relief? I understand saving…but I don’t understand our government allowing our savings to be stolen from us, and then being told we are now on our own. Who is gonna be responsible for the money the banks stole??

    • Have to agree with comment. Wish Congress talked like they understood how those funds ended up there in the first place. They need to cut THEIR salaries before messing with our “pensions” . The formula used to determine our COLA needs to be changed as all of our service providers raise their services the COLA amount thus negating any increase we get. Like this year, my social security increase covered the Medicare Part B increase and nothing else. Congress couldn’t/ wouldn’t settle for that either.

      • Sue C
        You hit the nail right on the head with THAT remark!
        If Politicians were only paid MINIMUM WAGE & had the SAME Medical Insurance as us ” Working class” People.. it would be a WHOLE different Ball Game!
        America is the ONLY Civilized COUNTRY IN THE WORLD that doesn’t HAVE Universal Healthcare.

        • Ditto… I am so disgusted . Worked all my life, am age 75, do not qualify for medicaid but cannot afford the terrible co pays for the medication I am forced to be on to actually live.

      • The COLA this year is / was 3/10 of 1% ( three tenths of one percent.
        And yes it did cover the increase in my Medicare increase. Nice! because my Medicare supplement policy went up mid double digits.
        Hopefully Congress will be able to study the funds, eliminate those who are not eligible (Social Security is NOT an entitlement to those of us who’ve funded their benefits through the mandatory payroll tax implemented during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidency. It will be refreshing.

    • That is some good shopping Faith! I love the breakdown, I started yesterday, and was just going crazy rebinmeremg to take a damn picture of my food! lol this really makes you think about how much money you spend on food, and really helps me pick the best items for the best prices.

      • ROTFLMAO @ Joe Kerner, are the elderly members of your family refusing their SS benefits? Mailing the money back? Only those currently RECEIVING SS benefits have any clue. The Wall Street types that we already had to bail out are nothing but trolls.

    • The present BO President
      sure didn’t . His fruit didn’t even blossom on the tree. He did nothing but take money away & never protected what WE AMERICAN’s put in this fund. We all worked hard for this. This is our livelihood now.
      Let’s stay positive about our NEW President and pray he sets some goals
      & laws about Medicare.
      1. Pay Medicare back.
      2. Not allow any group to dip into our account in the future.

      • All funds paid into Social Security and Medicare are used to purchase Treasury Notes that same day. As such all the money paid into these programs is still there in the form of Treasury Notes. As necessary the treasury Notes are cashed in to pay benefits. A significant portion of the 20 Trillion National Debt is made up of these Treasury Notes.

        • Correct analysis sir. Unfortunately the average citizen remains ignorant as to what you are saying. They do no critical thinking and only read headlines.

        • Treasury Notes are promises to pay. A note is a debt instrument. The SS withholding from your paycheck, in the form of cash, is deposited to the government Treasury and they, in return, take the cash and give a Note (promise to pay) to the “Fund”. The cash is not still there, it is being used by our government. Only thing there is a promise to pay it back, with interest.

      • ANYONE who voted for Trump, and ESPECIALLY anyone receiving SS benefits who voted for Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

      • @Kay: The first thing the Republican Congress did in Jan 2015 once they took the majority of both houses was to vote on a 20% CUT to the benefits paid to SSDI recipients to take effect Jan 1, 2016. President Obama vetoed it and brokered a compromise where we got to keep our benefits intact through this year. He most definitely DID protect our SSDI benefits. You’ll soon learn who cares nothing for the American people and who you can trust to protect anything for you.

      • Thanks Kay, I agree with you. We all need to be patient with President Trump (please see my earlier comment saying that). President Trump and his staff have and continue to be on the ground running to affect the changes and improve the lives of Americans. I believe in God and I believe in President Trump and his entire staff; They ARE hard at work.
        BO did nothing to get or even consider a COLA during his 8 year term. 2 yrs ago I think we got 1% this year it was diminished to nearly nothing (sort of a token to keep the troops calmed down.

      • Not to be rude, BUT ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! Have you read what his “administration” plans to do with our benefits?!?!

        • All you should get is the present value of what you have contributed over the years. you should not be allowed to leech off of other people who were forced to pay into the Ponzi Scheme know as Social Security.

          Like most Ponzi schemes, SS was a great thing for people who got into it at the very beginning. But once the scam starts falling apart under the weight of mathematical and statistical facts, current contributors are going to get ripped off — this is already happening as Social Insecurity is considered bankrupt by more than a few financial experts who are not beholden to the Federal government.

          Regards,
          Mandelbrot Set

        • “Fakers ews,” like the actual transcripts of the congressional session last Tuesday where they voted 49-49 whether to CUT Social Security, privatize and cut funding to Medicare, and get rid of Medicaid? Yeah, THAT “fake news.” You’ll soon learn who was telling the truth, though it’ll be far too late.

    • We paid our taxes from day one of our working life, but Trump was proud of having used all of the loop holes in the law to not pay taxes for 18 years. Shame on him!
      We will keep him filthy rich, him and his family protected while our S.S dwindles and our S.S workers cont. poorly paid. Nor him, nor Congress have to worry about the cost of living as we do.
      Thank you for the information. We will just keep praying for our country.

      • Look at one tax return and draw from that that Trump paid nothing for 18 years, how stupid. Further, he employed thousands of people who did pay taxes and we’re talking about FICA not income tax. Get better informed

      • Why shame on Trump for being a very, smart, savvy business person who paid as little taxes as possible under the law.

        The current income tax system favors the very wealthy who can hire dozens of tax attorneys and tax accountants to structure business deals that get tax deferments or tax exemptions. let’s not even talk about how past bad investments can be used as deductions from current taxable income.

        The other people who benefit in a major way from the current income tax system are those who earn almost nothing, but get handouts from the government in the form of EITC (Earned Income Tax Credits). These people can minimax their total income by figuring out just how little they have to work and still get maximum government handouts.

        Regards,
        Mandelbrot Set

  4. Thank you to all Social Security staff for your hard work under difficult budget conditions! I am most grateful for Social Security.

  5. You say nearly all FICA contributions are used to pay Social Security benefits. Where do Title IV-D funding to states come from? What % of the total FICA contributions go to states as Title IV-D funding? How much is the average annual Title IV-D state funding? I’m trying to understand these #’s but cannot find them publicized.

    Thank you.

  6. I need my Social Security because I have worked since 1977 and I had a stroke and I have to see a doctor every week. I need my money because they took money out of my checks so that when I got sick it would be there for me

  7. Has the amount borrowed out of Social Security by the government been repaid??? It was into billions if not > trillions. See GSA figures.

    • Nothing was borrowed out of the trust funds. Treasury notes cover what was used for other purposes. What did happen though was a transfer of some 500 Billion from the Medicare trust fund to pay for Obamacare implementation.

    • Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

      • You actually believe that bullfeces?

        A Ponzi sceme always looks like a good deal, until it starts to fall aprt unde the shere weight on numbers of an increasing number people expecting to collect from a decreasing number of people foolish enough to pay in any more than they are forced to by Big Government.

        Please, look up “Ponzi Scheme” on the more reputable traditional reference publications that now offer their expert views on the Web instead of periodicals printed at the expense of trees.

        Regards,
        Mandelbrot Set.

  8. You would have a lot more to work with if Congress would stop borrowing from the Social Security trust fund. Congress must raise taxes on the 1% who can afford it to pay for the country’s expenses, not grab it from social security!

  9. The SSA doesn’t pay interest on backpay to people who are approved for disability. If it takes them 2 years to get approved, then the trust fund is making interest on that money.

    The wait time weeds out the people trying to scam Social Security. Scammers want quick money. They move onto their next scam after they been denied by the DDS because they don’t want to wait 2 years and be unemployed without any money. You have a bunch of people dropping out after the DDS and now there will be more knowing the wait will be longer.

  10. Join a UNION!!??
    Unions are one of the largest problems for our country, they teach work less get more, there was a time they were necessary not today. Work 8 hrs and get paid for 8 hrs, if you dont wanna flip burgers, better yourself and get a big boy / girl job.
    The Trust Fund should only be used for its original intended use.
    Theres too many handouts today because weve grown accustomed to living on handouts too long.

    • I was in a Union and it helped us get a raise every year for 25 years that I worked for the company. Now, I get a good pension and social security. That’s $39,400 a year, so it pays to work many years.

      • Yes you and everyone else got a raise, no matter how much effort and productivity you put forth. Why exert any effort to better yourself when you are guaranteed a raise no matter how hard you try

      • Hard to hunt or fish to many rules, regulations, permits and licenses to afford. Especially after you finally get approved for disability. Since you’ve lost everything, with no money during the approval process.

        • During the good old days if you were disabld you would live at the mercy of a relative, in the county poor house if there was one or on the streets.

    • There were Old Age Homes. They picked elderly who were living on the streets and moved them into group homes. Large, filthy, overcrowded homes. But still more humane than being on the street. It is shocking to see the pictures of life without a social safety net like SSA.

  11. My suggestions are as follows:
    Pay Social Security to “American Citizens” only; then you would not have to create so many checks.
    Be sure you are paying only the living beneficiaries not those who have passed away. In my field of work, I see too many times where you have paid mega dollars to individuals who do not have rights to the funds for reasons that they have never pain any money into the system or they have long ago passed away. It is important to keep your records clean and accurate. I know you, now, have a shortage of employees; however, that has not always been the situation.
    I hope you will better monitor the payment of the funds in the future and when you pay someone incorrectly, you take all necessary steps to get the funds back – with interest if time has passed. This includes jail time if necessary! I sincerely feel that this will keep the creeps who continue to steal from the Social Security system to take a second thought before they do it again.

    • SS is only paid to citizens, there has to be fraud otherwise. SS does monitor payments paid to those over 90 to prevent paying dead people. It is hard to monitor things when SS continues to have their staff reduced.

      • This is incorrect. Non-US citizens who are lawfully present in the United States work and pay FICA taxes. They are entitled to Social Security benefits as long as they meet the same criteria as apply to citizens. SSA also has totalization agreements with certain other countries’ old-age pension programs that credits US citizens for income earned and taxes paid here and abroad in order to insure them for disability and retirement benefits.

  12. When you send a young person a social security statement, they know they cannot get retirement. They see that their disability payment is higher than their retirement and try to scam to get disability.

    • I do not believe that SS ‘statements’ begin arriving until the person has accrued 10 years of documented employment. On top of that I can’t recall seeing one before the age of 50 and I had already worked for 30+ years by then. So enlighten me as to what young person sees a SS statement? How young are you saying?

      • I started getting mine in my 20s. You don’t need 10 years of work to be insured for disability. My statements started with my disability amount. When I had enough work, it added in my retirement amount.

        • In addition to meeting our definition for disability, individuals must have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. You must have earned the required number of work credits within a certain period ending with the time you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

  13. Thank you for all do! We can pray that we will continue to receive our benefits and that those in the future will receive them also…
    Everything in America will questionable after 1/19/2017
    God have mercy on us!

    • Amen , as we need all the help from God we can receive! WE are scared of being unabel to live on what we get now with cost of living going up!
      We are counting on our soon to be New President to save us as most others want to just take what we worked for and let those that used it not pay us back. That is definitely criminal in my mind and most others as well….

  14. As an engineer I invented many products for my employers. 40 years later a few are still in production earning millions of dollars in profits for them and taxable income for their current factory workers making and selling them. Yet I get nothing towards a niggardly SS benefit. Where’s the justice?

  15. It is time our government learns it is there because of the people for the people and to serve the people. It is our elected official’s job to fund what is necessary whether they agree with it our not. There is no reason to play political games with what we all work and pay taxes for and it is time for them to do that. Maybe they should be shorthanded to understand what we all go thru day to day. Maybe then you wouldn’t have so many issues. If you are shorthanded how do you have time to weed out the fraud which uses our money and shorts the system? Maybe they can do something worthwhile by passing a law saying the funds paid into for special purposes etc. SS can not be used for anything but that and can not be borrowed for any reason!

  16. WHY ARE OUR FICA & SECA withdrawals or payments paying your salaries working for the Social Security Administration? Your salaries should be paid out of another Government allocated agency’s budget!!

    • The salaries of Social Security employees are NOT paid out of the fund. ALL federal employees are paid out of the General Fund, i.e., the BUDGET. That is what income taxes, NOT FICA are used for, along with all other government expenses. That’s why it’s so wrong for corporations to dodge paying income tax, and to hand out huge tax cuts to the rich who make billions, use all our public resources, but contribute nothing. That’s the real reason they’re always short of money and need to make “cuts” – but only to the programs that benefit the COMMON GOOD, meaning US, like Social Security, Medicare, schools, national parks, and vital services like the FDA who makes sure Big Pharma doesn’t kill you; the USDA, to make sure the food you eat isn’t contaminated with listeria, eColi, or salmonella or even bits of glass, metal, or rather feces; the EPA to make sure factories don’t dump deadly toxic waste into our drinking water and streams or spew deadly gases and lung-destroying particulate after into the air, the NIH (National Institute of Health) who are the REAL ones who do the research and development of new drugs and Social treatments (NOT Bigh Pharma); the CDC who makes sure we don’t all die of horrible epidemics, etc, etc, etc. For ypur information, Security is the MOST EFFICIENT government agency in our history, using only ONE PERCENT of what it takes in for administration, and that is NOT salaries of Social Security personnel. You know, people have the right to protest and gripe when something isn’t right, but it is WRONG, unfair, and frankly, stupid to criticize the government for doing or not doing things when you have ZERO knowledge of what it is you’re criticizing and what you’re saying isn’t even close to being correct. Almost every one of these comments is complaining or slamming something that doesn’t exist, doesn’t happen, is not the truth – and the WORST part is that there’s NO EXCUSE for any American to be so ignorant of our own government. Every one of you has access to a computer, obviously, and clearly plenty of time to use it so why don’t you make the effort to actually READ about these things??? I’d bet every check I will ever receive for the rest of my life that not one of you has a clue about the infinite amount of valuable, helpful, up-to-date, and FACTUAL information that’s also FREE on any topic you could imagine on the government website (s). No, you’d rather live in your dark, negative, closed little minds, only knowing what you’re told by opinionated, ever more dishonest and biased media for the false information you get to validate all your hatred and fears and prejudices and myths. Have fun, people. I have no further interest in trying to answer false claims with truth and helpful information – which is what Social Security is trying to do for you on this very blog. No more comments. I want to spend what little time is left to us of freedom to enjoy these things before the corporatocracy that uninformed voters put into power takes them all away and shuts them down: libraries, national and state parks, all the interesting and useful consumer information available on their websites, the Postal Service, transit, college and high school plays and sports events, recreation centers, etc, etc, etc. Enjoy your dark, narrow little lives. At least there’s some little satisfaction in knowing that those of you who voted for these thieves, liars, and con artists to bring this scourge on the rest of us are their first target. Karma.

  17. Get congress to pay back the fund with interest! Who do they think they are taking our money & not putting it back! I’m sick of all the corruption in this administration & congress. It seems they are untouchable!!

    • Same thing as our banking system. Simply put “how dare the bankers loan out my savings so someone can buy a house”. Oh, and the trust funds do earn interest, millions of dollars each year.

  18. The people applying for SSI don’t pay any FICA taxes to pay for the SSA’s administrative expenses. They call up their stupid Congressman to speed up their case. They harass the SSA employees everyday about their case over the phone. The stupid Congressman can’t even increase the SSA’s budget to pay for their freeloaders constituents.

  19. So many United States Citizens depends on Social Security as a source to pay a home, get medicines, and get their everyday living necessities, and we appreciate all the good americans everywhere working to make this come true. Good Bless America.

  20. Benefits for retirees is not an entitlement.it is a return on our investment into the fund over 40-50 years and more. I believe the cost of the work you do is important and should be funded with contributions we have made. A yearly statement of those costs are how we know what we pay for that service.

  21. The work you guys and gals do is terrific. Too many people think SS is welfare. They need to do their homework. This is money we’ve paid ourselves over our working life. Now if the gov would repeal to SS tax, that would help.

  22. I’m trying to get my money back to what it was before S. S. Made a mistake and gave me a L. E. P. Then my ASRS also lowered my income because of the L. E. P. Now how does one get the correction done..
    this is to me fraud. Any help out there??

  23. God bless us all with the incoming administration trying to take our benefits away. You work very hard for us and without Social Security I would be homeless. I am not alone.
    Keep up the excellent work.

  24. Stop paying benefits to people who have not paid in as our potus has done..Must work ten yrs. before receiving benefits. Reinstate the cost of living formula’s of 15 yrs ago.. We paid in all these yrs. not to be denied our money back.THis is a Ponzi scheme wost than Madoff’s…

    • Hehehe,

      Do you really think that Trump even noticeed the grand or two he might collect under Social Insecurity? He did the smart thing and built his own retirement plan…a very good pla that lets him become POTUS without even needing the $400K per year that recent Presidents have had as income. (I am not sure if Trump or any previous President was able to refuse any compensation for his work outright, but accepting a token $1 would make most Presidential employment agreements work, so I’ve heard from people who are more expert about that part of the Law than I am.

  25. And what about the congress voting themselves a pension of $15,000.00 a month after serving only one term in office without public notice!. Most of them are already millionaires…

  26. Look, IF Congress were to return the $$ they “borrowed” from SS the trust fund would be solvent beyond the year 2110.
    Think about how our conflicts, wars and social programs have been paid for and it stands to reason that it was paid for by the 6.2% tax on our pay.

  27. I was employed 8 years with SS and am waiting to reup again but hiring hasn’t happened yet. I’m afraid THOSE WHO HONESTLY QUALIFY will probably die waiting for benefits paid in.

  28. I always paid higher taxes then I had to when I was working and plan on doing the same again. I never intended to be out of work this long. Trust me, it’s way more work to not work than it is to just be working. It’s just so hard to get back inside the work fields with so much empty space on resume about what you’ve been doing and my last: job let me go saying I was too slow and had an attitude which is crazy because I was singing Christmas songs to Jesus, I guess singing Amazing Grace in a warehouse near Reno is considered an attitude problem in these last days…
    I plan on paying back all my taxes just having a real hard time getting car situation so I can be reliable to work in freezing weather, rainy weather, snow or hopefully moving closer to where I can be a father again. Thank You, ssdi for all the help and patience, I promise to try and do better in efforts to be self efficient and help others to do the same in near future, just real hard getting started and I really didn’t expect this top be toso hard to go back into work.
    JD Wilcox

  29. I still don’t understand how you determine the amount a person will receive. I worked for about 15 years total, for the government. I paid into social security. Then I quit the government job and stayed home with my kids for a couple of years. When I tried getting back to the work force, I got hurt on the job and had to file for disability. I never thought I would one day be trying to live on $750 month… Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for that but I would rather be earning the money I was living on then, than trying to make it with food stamps, Medicare, the HEAT program, and housing. I have friends who didn’t work half as long as I did and they are getting a lot more from social security. How does that work? Thank you for your hard work and maybe you can find time to explain this subject a little more.

      • And exactly when it was paid in, at least as far as Disability Benefits go. There is a very contrived formula used to determine whether you past payments into the scam will allow you to get any benefit is you are actually disabled.

        I made a very conscious decision a few years ago: I will never expect any payback from any system the government forces me to pay into, allegedly for my own benefit.

        I could do far better by investing the same amount the government extrots from me in an S&P500 Index Fund and drawing upon the proceeds from that fund as I retire.

    • Hi Cindy. Thank you for your question. If you receive a monthly pension from work where Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay, or if you previously received it in a lump sum payment, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can affect how we calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security benefit than you otherwise would receive. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies, such as police officers and some teachers) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced.

    • Thank you for your question. For your son’s security, you can only request this information in person at a Social Security office. You will need to present documents proving your identity, your son’s identity and citizenship status, and evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, him. Good luck!

  30. Social Security is a scam and a Ponzi scheme. “Fewer than 64,000?” If private sector administered SS, it would take a fraction of that number. Government produces NOTHING! It only steals wealth and redistributes while the people at the top syphon off a huge amount for themselves!

  31. Speaking of budgets and the longevity of the Social Security System and Medicare, it seems there should be policy in place to lower the individual potential per-incident benefits for Social Security and Medicare recipients who elect NOT to have annual cancer screenings and such done, such as colonoscopy, mammograms, prostate exams, etc., and develop the various cancers that go along with self-neglect. Self-neglect should not be rewarded with spending Medicare dollars on the treatment of cancers of self-neglected individuals whose conditions could have been avoided thru annual screenings. If you don’t get annual screenings and develop a cancer of these types, your benefits are reduced for the treatment of your condition, that simple, put the responsibility on the backs of the benefir recipients.

    All U.S. citizen recipients of Social Security and Medicare should have FORCED accountability and responsibility to the pooled benefits they are receiving. Many of these conditions would never happen if people had annual screenings done. Prostate cancer is very treatable and very manageable if caught in its early stages thru prostate exams and blood tests (PSA levels rising are a red flag for male prostate biopsy). It is much less expensive to screen for a cancer, than it is to treat a cancer. It is much less expensive to stay well than it is to become sick.

    While administrative efficiencies are a step in the right direction, the management of the the pooled funds should start with a “wellness” approach; rather than a “treatment” approach. Let’s put more responsibility onto the shoulders of the recipients thru a “forced wellness” approach. Let’s reduce the pooled benefits for those who opt out of annual screenings that keep themselves well. Let’s not reward those who don’t care about wellness by paying out full Medicare benefits for the conditions that their self-neglect brought on.

    • psa tests are far from reliable & have many false positves, should only be used with other testing. Cancer sreenings are no gaurentee that you will not have cancer. pet scans,cat scans miss 30% of the total area of the humen body which can hide dorment tumors that are undecteable by scans.

  32. Just look at the tag cloud the SS Admin uses to the right of this blog orum. It only includes SS Administration approved terms. I do not see the terms “Ponzi”, “Scam”, “ripoff”, etc in said cloud ot the right, but I have just started paying attention to this blog.

    Regards,
    Mandelbrot Set

  33. can someone please tell me exactly what is going on? i receive S.S.I. since i was about 18 because my mother took me to a workforce place for the disabled and the worker took her aside after trying to speak to me and told her about S.S.I. i never knew about it or cared about it. i was never a scammer but she said i am not going to be able to work. so is this saying that you are going to raise my check down even lower when its impossible for me to live off 720.00$ in the first place and i have so much on my plate right now it is actually funny not funny because its like my only choice is to hang up! i was born with my mental conditions diagnosed with agoraphobia,social phobia with bad social anxiety attacks,depression of course because it makes me isolate,panic attack and anxiety because these mental illnesses are genetic..me and my oldest sister got the brunt of it the rest of my 5 sisters and one brother work and make a lot of money well 2 of them and don’t have issues..but my aunt has the same thing i do and my great uncle had it as well as my uncle and grandmother on the other side of the family..its not my fault i would love to work and live a normal life..i recently tried different work program because medication i’m on now seem to be helping more with the social anxiety attacks which are the worst and the doctors said i get fright or flight that’s why my hands start shaking and i cant look people the the eye most times..can someone please explain to me if this means that my check is going to be lowered even more even know they are taking money out of my check ?

    • There is nothing in this article that indicates benefits are being reduced. However, we need to work with our politicians to ensure this continues to be the case.

  34. Reading the comments in this thread make it clear that the USA has become a 3rd-world Banana Republic (minus the good weather) due directly to the fact that ‘you can’t fix stupid’. I will be surprised if SS & Medicare are able to survive at all over next 4 years. America is in the swirly … circling the drain.

  35. There is one group that SS did not mention in this little email of theirs. ILLEGAL ALIENS-PEOPLE WHO STEAL OTHER PEOPLES ID AND THEN COLLECT ON THEIR SS. It also seems to me that I remember hearing at one point in the last few years that some of the SS money was actually pulled out and used to fund other purposes. Now if that is completely true-in the private sector if a company used specifically designated money for one purpose and pulled it out and used for another, couldn’t that be considered embezzlement? Wouldn’t that be like money designated for a 401K and taking it out without permission by the person investing, and using it to fund the company employee picnic; or better yet the CEO’s vacation to the Virgin Islands? That is stealing from the original investor isn’t it? And shouldn’t that be prosecuted?

  36. I just read that the SSA is going to reduce the amount of paper SS statements it mails out to cut costs. I commend your efforts to find new ways to save taxpayer money. I also think it’s necessary for taxpayers to learn to access the internet for paperless data to support these cost-saving moves. Thank you.

  37. My issue with the reduced paper mailing policy is that I can’t find MY personal info. I have access online, BUT I chose File & Suspend when I turned 66 over three years ago and the online system indicates that I’ve applied for my benefits and don’t need a statement. And, I don’t get a paper statement. And, I get the same response when I call the 800 number……….it’s whatever it was when you did the file and suspend. It would be VERY helpful if I could occasionally obtain an update as to what the current payout (or estimated payout) would be.

  38. My husband became disabled in 2014 after 35 years in the workforce and also the military. We has over 1500 pages of medical documents, as well a 2 RFC and 2 medical source statements with a letter that clearly states that he should not be working. It took him 6 months and two congressional inquirees to get the VA care that he needed and earned. We were paying out of pocket before he was finally seen by the VA. The denial has caused us severe financial destruction and his mental health is now on a downword spiral. He has been suicidal and now suffers from several mental health issues. The congress and the SSA do not give a crap about people. We have been dealing with these two dysfunctional government entities for 3 years now.

  39. SS was, as mentioned in at least one post, designed to supplement retirement income to ensure ample funds to cover living expenses for our elderly after they retire. The government discovered there were funds available so they did the unforgivable and took funds to pay for something that should never have come into the picture. Our government should pledge to leave this fund alone and let it move forward to take care of our retirees.

  40. There are numerous broken links on the SSA web site. Even the link to request a replaced SSA-1099 is broken. Do you even test anything?

    • Hi Louis, we are sorry that you are having trouble, but our website and all of the links appear to be up and running. The SSA-1099 is mailed by January 31 each year. If you currently live in the United States and you don’t receive an SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax year 2016 by January 31, 2017, you can get an instant replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S by using your online my Social Security account beginning on February 1, 2017. Thanks!

  41. I have worked in the public sector all of my working life and had many, many thousands of dollars taken out of my pay checks.
    Now that I am drawing Social Security benefits I am still having to have many thousands of dollars taken out of my checks for income taxes. I would like to have it explained to me why I still have to income taxes taken out of my Social Security checks which came out of my pay checks that I already paid taxes on. Seems to me that I am being taxed double on the money I have already pain taxes on!
    Anyone have an answer?

    • Some people who get Social Security must pay federal income taxes on their benefits. You must pay taxes on your benefits if you file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your “combined income” exceeds $25,000. If you file a joint return, you must pay taxes if you and your spouse have “combined income” of more than $32,000. If you are married and file a separate return, you probably will have to pay taxes on your benefits. See our Benefits Planner: Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefits for more information. Thanks!

    • Think! Your paycheck does not state you were taxed on SS. I believe Federal and State tax is only on the money you earned minus SS contribution. Therefore, once you start collecting SS benefits over a certain amount, you pay taxes on it like you did when you worked. Perhaps everyone should look at SS as a pension plan you surely pay taxes on certain withdrawals based upon criteria. I stand to be corrected.

  42. it seems not that I am retiring that the personnel I have been dealing with have a poor attitude and I am not sure why. I had one hand the phone up on me for asking her name. I had another that took my documents give me some wrong information resulting in a denial for retirement and now I have to appeal. It seems like they have lost their professionalism and the customer service is poor. I have yet gotten my problem solved as they seem to lose documents or the ones I give them do not get to where they are suppose to. I just hope to get this over with as it is causing some severe anxiety issues when they just don’t seem to care. They won’t even make appts anymore with makes it bad for them and the customers. Just bad overall attitudes with all the reps I have had to deal with.

    • Hello Robert. We apologize and regret to hear that we did not provide the level of customer service you expected. You can always request to speak with the local office manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. Remember, most Social Security business does not require a visit to a local field office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, are conveniently available anytime at our website. Or, you can also call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

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