Shining a Light on your Lifetime Protection

Portrait Indian family at home. Grandparent and grandchild close up face. Asian people living lifestyle. Grandfather and granddaughter.

The Hindu month of Chaitra, April 7 to May 7, is the first month of the Indian calendar with a change in the moon’s orbit.  The month starts with Ugadi/Yugadi, which marks the first day of the new calendar. Yuga means “age” and ādi means “beginning” — the beginning of a new age.

During this month, Hindus celebrate with festivals that bring to life an aspect of the universal truth to empower communities. The rituals of the festivals strengthen bonds between and within families and communities. It is a time to serve those in need and reflect on our blessings.

Followers of the Eastern Dharmic traditions — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists — continue to arrive on American shores. For many of them, their traditions provide a point of reference for civic engagement. Those who immigrated starting from 1965, following the reform to immigration policy (the Hart-Celler Act) are now reaching or have reached retirement age. Some have coped with divorce, the death of a spouse, or a disability.  Migration brings its own sense of loss and gain. These changes are very much like a Yugadi.

Immigrants have changed the cultural and religious landscape of this great nation. Yesterday’s immigrants established churches and synagogues. Today’s Dharmic immigrants build Mandirs, Ashrams and Gurudwaras.  For the newly transplanted, faith-based institutions, traditions, and culture provide a sense comfort, which is necessary to cope with change. To augment the support that they had in their native land, immigrants must depend more on external resources, such as Social Security.

You can learn more about Social Security’s programs and services during May 1-8, a special week this year when the agency will join forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness of these resources. This year’s campaign theme is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

Transformation, in the landscape of America, requires a mental paradigm shift for all communities to fully access services.  Many are beginning to recognize that we need an integrated effort from multiple sources.

Faith Week of Action leads us into Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of this rich culture in the United States. Social Security is committed to the White House AAPI Initiative. You can visit our website Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for more information.

You can also register online to learn how you can help Social Security spread the message about securing today and tomorrow.

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40 thoughts on “Shining a Light on your Lifetime Protection

  1. Thank you for this most “enlightening” post! In a time when too many of the loudest voices are anti-immigrant, your thoughts lift up the rich mosaic of people and their gifts that we all can celebrate in America. Blessings to you in your continued public service.

    • I agree and the sad tesponses below I think are out if touch. People who immigrated after our own ancestors, such as those frim India, sadly go thru the same torment as the Irish and other immigrants of 100-150 years ago. However, just as our ancestors and ourselves got to work so have these immigrants. Thus they have been paying into Social Security as those before them. It seems like sheer ignorance to think that if someone doesn’t have their retirement requirements they won’t be found eligible. More people need to learn about how programs are established, run, and the three Executive, Legislative and Supreme Court branches established by Our Country’s founding fathers. There is the SSI program for those found to meet strict disability criteria who are not expected to recover available to all Americans found eligible. Just because someone is from another nation initially doesn’t make them un-American. I can’t believe we have so many living in a world filled with heresay and not bright enough to research facts themselves. I hope someone will be challenged to look deeper and enlighten themselves. Blessings to All!

      • What about the children that are citizens and they bring over their mother father who are elderly and they get Social Security And Medicaid that certainly is not fair

        • Joan, what about the social security payments that are taken from workers on temporary work visas, and who go back leaving the social security deductions behind. Is that fair?

      • yes, they can get help but we that live here have a heck of a time getting answers, My wife died 3 years ago, I sent in a copy of death certifuicate , newspaper

  2. Something we could have done without. This article is hardly relevant or timely. It is a fluff piece used to fill empty space.

    • What a self righteous ignorant response!

      I was fortunate to have attended a Catholic grade school K-8 in the segregated south back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Fortunately for me I attended this school with children of many cultures. Asian, Indian, Lebanonese, Syrian, French and African Americans, to name a few.

      I grew to respect these cultures and customs at a young age and learned a lot. Mainly that every country and culture has their own set of rituals and until we Americans can recognize and accept these cultures, then we will never get along in this world.

      I’m talking about God loving, civil people. Not the outliers like the Talaban, ISIS or even the KKK that we had in our own Country.

      Unfortunately we have created an unsustainable Government where hard work has been discouraged by our never ending entitlement programs.

      The lazy, unethical persons abusing these programs are not the immigrants but as one writer commented, the politicians and the freeloading citizens of our own Country.

  3. The people responsible for wanting to steal our social security benefits and feelings of trust and security with American institutions are the very same people who continue to ignore funding requirements are NOT coming from any religious organizations in India. They are our congressional representatives, the worst of whom call themselves Christians. Whomever had this bright idea to fill up our mailboxes with this article needs to get back in touch with reality.

    • Wow! I thought this article was a joke when I first started reading it. No joke, just another example of out-of-touch federal bureaucrat trying to fill out her day at work. The joke, my friends, is on the American people whose taxes support such foolishness as this. When you vote this November, ask yourself if this is the kind of government you want to have and vote accordingly.

  4. Just venting: my neighbors from Iran (mother, 2 daughters and disabled 33 year old son) seem to live the good life on monies that most of us paid into the tax system. Living in a very nice house, none of them are citizens, Mother doesn’t speak English, doesn’t work, both daughters in college on grants; son receives disability. I asked one daughter how they manage all this, don’t think she realized how upsetting this is to those of us that have paid for years. She said when they came over about 10 years ago, with nothing, they were put up in an apartment; eventually the nice house was subsidized, as are their college educations; Mom gets a check each month, as does the son. Not one of them has ever worked in this country or paid in to any system they are collecting from. And I am sure this is repeated thousands of times over. Fair? Of course not.

    • THank you !!!!
      you are not just venting you are criticizing your gov’t for putting citizens aside and putting the undeserving on a pedestal . The new ethic punish the undeserving , and disparage the worthy.
      No wonder people take drugs to escape form the mental conflict this causes.
      Were supposed to help others after we take care of ourselves and our own.

      • I agree! After qualifying medically I was turned down because I didn’t work enough quarters. I volunteered my whole life to serving the needy. I am an American and can’t get the SSID I desperately need.

        • SSDI is disability insurance for WORKING PEOPLE who cannot work anymore due to disability. Of COURSE you have to have WORKED ENOUGH to draw from it – why should ANYONE – including YOU, Jamie, draw anything, whether or not you’re “medically” qualified if you only “volunteered?? Volunteers who are not paid DO NOT PAY INTO FICA, therefore YOU DID NOT PAY INTO THE SYSTEM! THAT’S why you were “turned down!” It kills me that it’s people like yourself who rail against “lazy, undeserving” people getting government benefits, or “immigrants” who “didn’t pay into the system” getting government benefits (they DON’T get either Social Security OR SSDI for your information) but you seem to think that YOU should be entitled to SSDI even though you did not pay into the system? Please explain that to me because frankly, I don’t understand your twisted reasoning . . .

    • Thank you Diane! So true! The Russians can get into a house and get a good job at a university here and food stamps and all. I have a college degree living in the U. S.; am a single female and could not find a program to help me get a house.!!!! Frustrated!!

    • You got this totally wrong. I have tried to help refugees from Bhutan who came here in the last five years. They are living in abject poverty. There is no government support after a few months. I have not been able to find any government support for their children to go through college. Its a vicious cycle: if they cant go through college, they will live in poverty for ever.

      • I agree with you, however, there are many people that find jobs without a college degree. The refugees should learn english first, then find a job, and if they can afford it, go to college. I don’t agree with our Government paying for their college education, they don’t even pay it for our citizens.

  5. “Immigrants have changed the cultural and religious landscape of this great nation.” True but the most recent immigrants, especially from the mid-east, want to change our nation to THEIR WAY and THEIR RELIGION. That is unacceptable. Also, today’s immigrants need to come to this country and assimilate, not insist on political correctness to meet their cultures and whims.

    On a recent visit to Israel, my wife and I, who are of Mexican descent, were conversing in a restaurant in Jerusalem in Spanish. Soon, an elderly gentleman got up from his table and came over to ours and told us in perfect Spanish if he could sit with us. Our planned 1/2 hour lunch expanded to 3 hours. He was from Uruguay and had married a Jewish girl from Chile. They had agreed that when married, they would immigrate to Israel and had lived there close to 60 years. My wife asked him if his children and grandchildren spoke Spanish. He said very little, and then told us a story. He said that when Jews started settling in Israel in the 1940s, they were going there from many different countries and were forming communities according to the language they spoke and the countries from which they were from. There was no unity. So the leaders of the communities got together and made a covenant that henceforth Hebrew would be the official language and everyone would speak Hebrew. After a few years, there was complete unity. I told my wife later that that is what we should do in the US. Instead of accommodating all newcomers, they should assimilate and learn to be Americans. When I was young, my father heard me say that I was a Mexican-American. He corrected me (he was an immigrant from Mexico) and told me I was a proud American, and proud to be of Mexican descent. Since then, when I am asked I say I am an American. Another thing my Dad told us. In this country the sky is the limit but we have to work hard, learn to speak the language well, and get a good education. Thanks, Dad, for the advise. And, God Bless America!

  6. Lifetime protection is a joke, Social Security is set to run out by 2032 if not before. With all the people getting in on it who never paid into it, it will definitely run out before then. If you thought SS would support you in retirement, you are living a dream, good luck you will need it.

    • SS will never run out .Where you folks get these numbers. Stock market exchange would be rich if they knew what SSI only knows. Never in my time and this was said when I was 5 .I am 57 now .I would love to see that happen so I could eat my words ..No kids ..stay in school and keep on working .Social Security will always be there.. please

    • No, it is NOT set to “run out” by 2032. At that time, if the Republican-majority CONGRESS doesn’t increase the cap (meaning, make people who earn more than $120,000 a year pay into Social Security, who don’t pay a dime in now), then the benefits won’t be paid out at 100% of what’s being paid now but instead will have to be reduced to around 70% of the current payment amount. My God people, if you’re going to gripe, at least gripe about something that’s TRUE instead of FALSE, MADE-UP GARBAGE! Society Security is NOT BROKE, it is NOT INSOLVENT, it is NOT going to “run out!” Get your facts straight – you can start by getting your information from the source, eg, RIGHT HERE on this very website you’re posting complaints based on incorrect and false information! Take the time to actually LOOK IT UP for yourself instead of making it up or repeating the lies you’re being fed!

  7. It is a great information to share with American community.
    I saw this kind of article first time on S.S. blog. We need to share more information about Indian culture. You have done a great job by sending this all people.

  8. The social security fund is a “fairy tail”, it vanished when the Johnson Adm. robbed it to fund the “Great Society”. It is being paid from money this country does not have thus a trillion dollar deficit. We are funding every thing by borrowing. Those of us and the companies we worked for have paid into a fund that does not exist. Our country cannot sustain such a debt much longer

    • @Tom: Social Security is the ONLY government program that is 100% self funded. It does not, and never has, contributed one penny to the supposed “trillion dollar deficit.” Again, if you’re going to complain about anything at least complain about something that’s actually TRUE! You might want to refrain from using words and phrases whose definitions and meaning you clearly do not grasp. It only demonstrates your ignorance.

  9. I am starting to understand at least part of why Social Security is having financial trouble. They are spending WAY too much on high level executive type salaries for nonsensical purposes such as this. I have nothing against anyone who came to this country legally and tries to contribute their skill, ideas, etc. but I’m afraid we have allowed the perception that we are like the little clown train in the parade – passing out free candy to anyone who puts their hand out. They REALLY need to trim the fat (unnecessary programs and personnel), this kind of thing being at the top of the list.

    • The administrative costs to operate the SSA are the lowest of any government agency besides Medicare, which is less than 4% of what it takes in. Compare that to ANY corporation, not one of which operates at less than 35-40% in administrative costs. I’d say that’s WAAAAY more efficient and cost-effective. Google it, or look right on this very website for confirmation of this FACT.

  10. THANKYOU ..Finally .now maybe ALL Americans will read and read to see what the government has to offer. I am an American who reads. I now have a great apt .ssd and pets too .!! Why don’t folks read no more . Everything you think they were just given to them are not true.They too worked and read. I am full example of an American dream. I love it 😉 thanks

  11. Thank you so much for your enlightened article Anju Bharghava. It’s time SSA showed some good consideration for the diversity. Please keep contributing like this for the Asian American important festivities. This will help many of our own second & third generation who would benefit from their first generation ancestors contribution to SSA but would be at dark in not knowing our traditional heritage based on faith! An excellent attempt well portrayed! Congrats & looking forward to more like this!

  12. So glad to read this blog. I appreciate the initiative from SS Administration to try to reach out to the New Americans, those of us who came to the American shores during the last quarter century. We are law abiding, hard working, well educated professionals and businessmen and women who have contributed to the fullest to the American economy, not depended on any hand outs, yet we have been neglected by successive US Administrations.
    Therefore, it is so refreshing to read this blog that makes an attempt to connect with us, the New Americans, and makes us feel that, after all, this Administration cares about us.
    Kudos for the great job. Please continue to reach out to this silent, hard working wave of new immigrants with a great work ethic, who would need help from SSA in their retirement years.

    • Thanks for your comment! We appreciate your thoughts. We are committed to providing the public with the best service possible.

  13. Thank you for addressing the needs of our Hindi citizens for facing the challenges of aging. I am sorry that my fellow citizens are unable to see the point of your article. It is unusual to see an article with such a narrow focus, though. Probably we need more of them!

  14. I believe in seperation of church and state.
    While some of the human aspects you have brought up are important to individuals. Social Security should be free of any religion so all individuals are treated equally regardless of religion. If government is to play a role in
    religion it should be to provide a site where we can learn about each others cultures perhaps through face book or ………. Social security is to administer to peoples financial needs. It’s a shame we cannot count on all states to be open an supportive of all people. This should be what we encourage as a government regardless of race, creed, or religion…

    • The American currency states on it, “In God We Trust.” There is no single religion when this country was established. The forefathers of this country were not of the same religion. Americans forgot what it was like to escape religious prosecution.

  15. What most Americans don’t know is that the American military has “borrowed” from Social Security and Medicare…and never paid back the money they “borrowed”. This has been happening for years!

    This is not borrowing! This is stealing!

    • Donna, 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.

  16. You folks are always worried about one side of the story .. your side. This is not a diversified approach as much as America claims that it is.

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