Social Security provides survivors and disability insurance for workers and their families. Through times of tragedy and despair, we’ve risen with the American spirit to provide support to those we serve. Like few other times in our history, was our agency’s presence needed more than after the terrorists’ attacks of September 11, 2001.
Fifteen years have gone by but that tragic day is still present in our memories and hearts. We remember where we were and what we were doing when our nation was forever changed. We remember the innocent lives lost. We remember the courage of the first responders who risked, and even lost their lives to save others. And at that time, we remembered our commitment to be with you through life’s journey, helping secure today and tomorrow.
Social Security’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks was to put in place special emergency procedures to provide the fastest possible service to the families of the victims of the tragedies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania.
These procedures expedited the processing of claims for victims and their families. We amended the documents we accepted for proof of death to include things like airplane manifests, lists of employees provided by employers, and other statements that showed the worker at the scene of the attacks. Social Security employees helped families at special assistance centers opened in New York, Arlington, VA, and Pennsylvania. The strength of our nation was present in our employees’ dutiful and heartfelt service.
The first payments to surviving family members went out on October 3, 2001. Since then, our agency has been a constant support for the surviving families and disabled victims.
Today, Social Security provides more than $8 million in benefits each month to the more than 6,000 beneficiaries who were disabled, their dependents, and the survivors of those who died because of the attacks.
As we remember those we lost, let’s also keep in mind those they left behind. You can find more information about the benefits available to September 11 victims and families by visiting the Victims Compensation Fund. You can also read How Social Security Can Help When a Family Member Dies for more information on our survivors benefits.