Social Security Programs Are As Diverse As Those We Serve

Large group of smiling people.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.

Our programs serve as vital financial protection for millions of people. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits. These credits count toward retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

A program everyone should be familiar with is Social Security’s retirement program. Whether you’re a young adult paying Social Security taxes for the first time or a retiree receiving benefits, this is a program that will affect you during and after your working years. You can learn more about your earnings and potential benefits by visiting www.ssa.gov/retire/.

Social Security administers the largest disability program in the nation. A severe illness or injury robs a person of the ability to work and earn a living. Thankfully, Social Security disability benefits can provide a critical source of financial support during a time of need. For more on disability benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.

When a family loses a wage earner, it can be both emotionally and financially devastating. However, Social Security can help secure a family’s financial future if a loved one dies with survivor benefits. The best thing you can do for your family is prepare as much as possible: get started at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation — individuals with identical earnings histories and needs are treated the same in terms of benefits. We’re proud the diverse public we serve reflects the programs we offer. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov today to see how we can serve you and secure your today and tomorrow.

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69 thoughts on “Social Security Programs Are As Diverse As Those We Serve

    • Today, I called the SSA and my wait time was much lowe at, 8 minutes instead of the usual 25 or more. This improvement was important to me. I would like to express how important it is for SSA to continue to improve. One area that is essential is giving payments in amounts that we the people prefer or choose. For example, I would like my SSDI payment annually and not monthly. This would help me live and contribute to safer neighborhoods. It only makes sense for me to choose the payment option that works for me and for SSA to in turn comply.

      Also, people need more seminars and question and answer sessions with SSA. There are so many things to learn. After three years of receiving SSDI, it leaves me wanting to learn how to more appropriately use my income towards integrated health care and for advancing critical needs in our world in the area of health and recovery.

      Please make these changes soon. Let us remember the New Deal and what a large turning point it was for people and continue to progress.
      People count.

      Thanks .

    • Louise, you can collect a very reduced early benefit at 62, WITH NO MEDICARE BENEFITS, or you can wait till 65, and collect the full amount, or if you can and if you want to work past 65, each year’s SS pension will be higher,
      BUT YOU HAVE TO APPLY for Medicare at 65.

      • You can retire at any time between age 62 and full retirement age. However, if you start benefits early, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. A person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits when they attain their full retirement age (currently age 66). Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older.

      • She could wait until age 66 and apply for Medicare at 65 but if she is receiving benefits before 65 she does not have to file for Medicare, she’s automatically enrolled.

      • Be careful the full retirement age at which you can collect full benefits is based on when you were born. I was born in 1951 and my full retirement would be at age 66. If you collect before full retirement the government essentially allows you to lose a significant amount of your SS benefits and you end up with a reduced check.

    • You can start receiving reduced retirement benefits at age 62. However, a person must be 62 throughout the first month of retirement. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance, and you can apply for your benefits 3 months before you turn 62 if you want your payments to start at that age. When you are ready, you can apply online, in person at your local Social Security office (call first to make an appointment.), or by phone – Representatives at our toll free number 1-800-772-1213, are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    • You can file 3 months before you turn 62 unless you are a widow then you could file at age 60. Disabled widows can file at age 50. As to when you should file those options will be explained to you when you file, it is your decision.

  1. Because of family reasons, I now live in Europe, where I have been receiving my U.S. social security retirement benefits for the past several years. However, because I no longer have a U.S. address, I cannot open an online Social Security account. It is frustrating not to be able to consult my account – I have to call the embassy service to get information. Could this online service be broadened to include people in my situation?

    • I am retired in Philippines and have been ”locked out” of the SSA system also. I have asked several times to several places and people. I answer is always the same…”you can not access”. There are over 8-million US citizens living or traveling abroad, now ignored.

  2. I haven’t heard anything further but are we still going to be required to get a cell phone and have texting capabilities on it in order to Log In to our Social Security account. Can anyone answer because apparently Social Security does not respond to this question from their original STATEMENT that this was a requirement.

  3. I was enrolled for December 2015 and my Medicare premium should not have been increased, but it did. I recently received a letter and extra funds were withheld for premium. When u called SS, they have no idea and neither did the letter gave any explanation why they were wittholding additional amount. I have filed an appeal form with local SS office but have not heard back.

    • <>

      BS. Why are all the retired living outside the US now unable to access our SSA accounts. So much for ”providing services”.

    • For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

    • This blog is not intended to answer individual questions. Your income reported in your previous tax return can effect the amount of your premium if you are a high income individual.

    • Hi Jane, if you are 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly cash benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY. If you already get Social Security benefits, we will automatically enroll you in Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medical Insurance (Part B). However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. For specific questions about your case, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office directly. To learn more about the Medicare program visit http://www.Medicare.gov. We hope this information helps!

  4. I,m sorry it is very complicated to undestand how it is work the system Internet because many hackers user Internet when you put Persian infomation to Internet People can steal it is very dangers

  5. your false statement : ”We’re with you throughout every stage of your life, and we’re always working to provide services that meet your changing needs”.

    BS. Why are all us retired (~8-million) living or traveling outside the US now are unable to access our SSA accounts. So much for ”providing services”. Thanks.

    • I have a reduced benefit this year compared to last year and the reason is that the Medicare premiium price went up. I asked SS and that is the reason they gave for my reduced benefit.

      • True, the Part B Premium was $104.90 and beginning Jan 2016 it became $121.80. Any new Beneficiary joining after Jan 2016 and any existing Beneficiary that pays by Quarterly Statement will be charged $121.80 for monthly Part B Premiums. You are not paying the full premium though, Federal Gov’t still subsidizes part of that premium.

        • Also, if you are considered Low Income and Low Resources you might qualify for the Medicare Savings Program which would pay the Part B premium for you. Try contacting the CBS, Community Based Services Office in your community or call 1-800-Medicar and they will provide a contact phone number.

  6. It is not just people living outside the USA, it is anyone without a cell phone or one that is text enabled. There is a free cell phone to those who qualify here in California and are in a poverty income level. I personally do not have a cell phone, as I do not feel the added expense is worth just being able to access SS. SS assumed that everyone had a cell phone without researching that incorrect information. I have a bank with these enhanced security features, but they have options as to which phone to send a code or you can call them. You still have to be able to receive a code however. I have been talking to my bank and they will ask if I can receive a code and I have to hang up to receive the code. SS needs to give options like this and actually research how many people on SS actually have cell phones and ones that are text enabled. You know the assume saying “makes and ass out of “u” and me.

  7. If your not broke and living on the streets when you apply for disability, you will be by the time you are approved!

  8. You said, “Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation. ”

    The Social Security disability program approves more Puerto Ricans at the ALJ hearing level. Puerto Rico has the highest approval rate at the hearing level way above the National average.

    The Social Security disability program also discriminate against people because of age. One year younger than 50 and the grid rules don’t apply to you. How can the SSA determine that the person is not disabled because they are one year younger?

    • It involves the ability to perform substantial gainful activity. There has to be an age cutoff somewhere and as for being neutral, SS never was and is not intended to be neutral. Saying so is for consumption of those who feel “Life has to be fair”.

  9. The Ticket to Work program is one of the very best Social Security programs and it is not even mentioned. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program that allow persons between ages of 18 – 64 who are currently receiving SSI or SSDI (not retirement) to try to return to work without loss of healthcare benefits or cash benefits. Why just last year My Employment Options alone helped over 500 disabled individuals return to work!! Lets get the word out about this fantastic program!!!
    https://www.chooseworkttw.net/

    • Career Source Florida, the company that the State of Florida privatized to for unemployment, job placement, and rehabilitation suck.

      Career Source denied me my unemployment. They didn’t help me with my job search and after waiting in line for an hour to get help, they told me to go to the computer. I could have save the trip and time doing it on my own computer. I didn’t even get help with my resume.

      The jobs they refer you to comes with a warning that it could be a scam.

      When you are reentering the work force with no transferable skills, education, or experience you can expect to make close to minimum wage. That is the only jobs Career Source Florida can find for you. I make more than that on SSDI.

      The Employment Networks uses the same job search engine as Career Source Florida with the bunch of crappy jobs.

    • Did you know that you can kick them off SSI/SSDI for working over SGA-level for more than 6 months. “Work Effort of Over 6 Months: Your SGA-level work lasting more than 6 months cannot be an UWA regardless of why it ended or was reduced to the non-SGA level.”
      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/di/03/SSR2005-02-di-03.html&ved=0ahUKEwjp9s-a2bzOAhWpAsAKHdFPCsMQFggbMAA&usg=AFQjCNElNKCVcd3A6jEug9ECPhQwFPNXTw&sig2=zBd4naIinPMJU2kUmsMDdw

      If you kick them off before they complete their Trial Work Period(TWP), then they won’t be eligible for the Extended Period of Eligibility(EPE). EPE is only available for people who completed the 9 months TWP.

      • What you are quoting applies to people who have not yet been found eligible for disability…not to those who are already on it.

    • Considering the millions on disability, having only 500 people return to work in a year can hardly be “fantastic”.

      • The 500 is from one Employment Network only. There are many more out there. “My Employment Options alone helped over 500 disabled individuals return to work.”

      • The State Rehabilitation and Employment Networks get about $20K for each individual they send back to work. Looking for jobs for disabled individuals, the Employment Network made $10 million for 500 people.

  10. SUBJECT:More than one person should decide your fate!!!
    I worked all my adult life (-3yrs). Even with lots of documentation and letting the SSDI doctor about not being able to move my neck (4 levels) without pain and headaches; of course, there is much more than that! I was still denied, saying I was able to work? So much power in the hands of one person! i think they really don’t believe your disabled unless your in a wheelchair? Then you have to see one person to decide your life’s path (good or bad)!

    • Any time you file an appeal someone else other than the person who denied your claim has to decide the appeal. Millions get disability and they are not confined to a wheel chair.

  11. I’m on SSDI..I was approved for this in late 2009. Since 2009,In 2012 I’ve had an emergency bypass heart surgery, due to a home invasion, In 2015, I had non intrusive lower back surgery and 6 week after the surgery, I had a nasty fall leaving church and broke my right Lumbar in half. If I had not served in the Naval Air during Vietnam, I would not have had a clue of where the money would come from for these surgeries. I thank the Lord that I served my country during a “Critical Time.” The VA took care of all of these Huge Accidents and the Lord was there, guiding the Dr.s hand and giving them clear vision to perform these surgeries. All of the surgeries caused me to become more disabled. I would like to know if I should have sent these new debilitating surgeries to the Social Security. I also understand that taking Social Security early, one loses money for doing this. I did not ask to become Disabled and did not have a choice but to go on SSDI.Why and what was the % that was held back. I’ve been told 33%. Can anyone make this clear and how add if adding more of the Unwanted Disabilities should be sent to Social Security.

    • SSDI is not like the VA disability. Either you are 100%(disabled) or 0%(not disabled).

      Adding more conditions doesn’t get you any more money from Social Security.

      You got more money from the VA and now you want Social Security to give you more money too.

  12. The government uses the diversity BS to give someone less qualified than you a job even though you are more qualified.

    They admit less qualified people into colleges and universities.

    They are hiring less qualified police officers because of the diversity issue.

    Diversity as we all know means poorer service for the American people.

  13. “Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation — individuals with identical earnings histories and needs are treated the same in terms of benefits.”

    Social Security disability program discriminates against people because of age. That is a bunch of BS you are trying to tell the public.

    If you have a identical earnings histories working 10 years and your disability is identical, but you are 1 year younger than the other person who is 50, then the grid rules doesn’t apply to you and you are not disabled.

    If you are 30 years old, then you have to wait 20 years before you can collect benefits with the identical earnings histories and identical disability.

  14. There is so many young people applying for disability because they think they know the rules and think it is easy to get. The SSA needs to set them straight. The erosion of all the unskilled sedentary occupational base doesn’t equate to a finding of disability. The lifting, sitting, standing, etc are Guidelines for Evaluating the Ability to Do Less Than a Full Range of Sedentary Work. It is not even all unskilled sedentary occupational base.

    SSR 96-9P states lifting, sitting, standing, etc significantly erode the occupational base. It doesn’t state that it erodes all the occupational base. Even if it erodes all the occupational base, it still doesn’t equate to a finding of disability.

    The SSA has been approving people who eroded less than all the unskilled sedentary occupational base.

    SSR 96-9p: POLICY INTERPRETATION RULING TITLES II AND XVI: DETERMINING CAPABILITY TO DO OTHER WORK-IMPLICATIONS OF A RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY FOR LESS THAN A FULL RANGE OF SEDENTARY WORK

    Using the Rules in Table No. 1 as a Framework: “Erosion” of the Occupational Base

    When there is a reduction in an individual’s exertional or nonexertional capacity so that he or she is unable to perform substantially all of the occupations administratively noticed in Table No. 1, the individual will be unable to perform the full range of sedentary work: the occupational base will be “eroded” by the additional limitations or restrictions. However, the mere inability to perform substantially all sedentary unskilled occupations does not equate with a finding of disability. There may be a number of occupations from the approximately 200 occupations administratively noticed, and jobs that exist in significant numbers, that an individual may still be able to perform even with a sedentary occupational base that has been eroded.

  15. How long will it take for ssi to realize that I did not receive ssi payments for the months of may and June of 2016 so that I can receive my SSDI payments for those two months?

    • Hi Timothy. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office for further assistance in this matter. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  16. ***THIS IS LONG BUT TRYING TO TELL MY STORY IN HOPES SOMEONE OUT THERE CAN HELP MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS💕
    I’ve been working since age 14. Graduated HS early & was a single
    mom by age 17 determined to prove society wrong as they stereotyped me. I received my paralegal diploma within 2 years while continuing to work part-time in collage. My internship turned into a full-time job at a lawfirm working on high profile litigation cases at age 22. Then on my way to work someone ran a red light & T-boned me in my Camero leaving only 8″ from my door to the console crushing my pelvis, rupturing my spleen, lacerating my liver, breaking multiple ribs on the left side & breaking my clavicle, fracturing my skull at the left temple resulting in amnesia, traumatic brain injury w/hemorrhaging resulting in emergency exploratory surgery to remove my ruptured spleen & requiring several blood transfusions. None of my fractures could be set so they basically healed crooked. 22 y/o single mom with a 4 1/2 year old daughter fighting to survive while being told I would never walk again, hospital bound for over 3 months.
    I was back at work a year later while still in a hospital bed at my parents house as I tried to defeat the odds while using arm braces to walk while mentally having to tell myself which foot should go next (left foot, right foot). I was an OCD workaholic at various law firms determined to be the best, which I was. 18 years as a litigation paralegal I was involved in at least 4 more wrecks (none my fault but my crooked pelvis, sacrum and spine continued to get worse each year. Then, I was assaulted resulting in a 2nd TBI as I was slammed from behind face down into a concrete floor exacerbating my previous injuries in my neck & lumbar spine, as well as knocking out the top 4 teeth. I eventually went back to work at a new small firm closer to home 6 months later but gradually got worse & worse. Memory problems, unable to concentrate or complete tasks then the chronic fatigue kicked in. My neck pain, lumbar spine, sacrum, & migraines continued to get worse which was a big distraction. I had excessive daytime sleepiness & was caught sleeping sitting up at my desk. I was asked to resign 3/1/13 & 12 days later I took a sleep study test which included a day & night sleep diagnostic sleep tests & at age 37 I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. I haven’t worked since Mar. ’13. I’m fighting foreclosure to keep my house I worked so hard to have 14 years. My boyfriend had to move in to help me with bills & help me get my second daughter, 9 at the time, up in time & ready for school because 90% of the time I couldn’t wake up. I broke down & filed for SS disability in in Feb. ’14. Was denied every time, even at the hearing level after 2 SS doctors reviewed all my records & evaluted me stating I was unable to work, as did two neuro/sleep specialists I had seen, my pain mgmt. dr who had me on slow release morphine and then my psychiatrist confirming how bad my PTSD had been along with OCD, Major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, not to mention the tragedy I went through after my sister took temporary custody of my then 11 y/o due to the fact I had no income or stable housing & couldn’t take care of myself or her. SO NOW IM AT THE APPEAL LEVEL WAITING FOR MY ATTORNEY TO LEARN WHAT AGGRESSIVE MEANS AS SHE WAITS TO BE ASSIGNED AN ANALYST (I think that’s what she said). ITS BEEN 8 months since the hearing where the judge ruled against 5 drs & denied me. My attorney showed me the judge’s notes where she circled my name & wrote “young claimant under the age of 44”. So 2 years 6 months later I’ve missed out on a full year of my daughter’s life, I’m about to be homeless, my boyfriend who’s done everything to possibly help has attempted suicide twice now & almost died due to the financial hardship this has been put on me but since I have no family support he won’t leave me & my dreadful situation. CAN ANYONE HELP OR KNOW A WAY TO EXPEDITE THIS AS A DIRE NEEDS CASE? I’m borderline suicidal due to losing my identity as “the best paralegal” and then w/o notice losing my baby girl who I never get to see which takes away my identity of being a mom with s child to take care of the last 23 years. This is absolutely a horror movie & obvious age discrimination. I just turned 41 last month so do I truly have to wait until I’m 44 while I have mo insurance, no income and can’t get the MRIS my neuro requested in April as my thecal sac in my neck is being flattened and my herniations in my lumbar are impinging on a nerve root, one of which has recently caused me to loose functions and feeling causing bowel incontinence. I’ve had bladder incontinence since last June and my last brain MRI was in 2011 indicating Gliosis which is central nervous system damage which is why I need a new MRI. If that’s not enough to be approved then their is no sympathy or justice for working over 18+ years while paying my SS & Medicare. Helpless w/o hope 😢

    • Thanks for sharing your comment in our blog. The length of time it takes to get a hearing can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. Please visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case.

    • The Socialist Security system does not care about individual stories, they are like robots, heartless, soul-less, incapable of making any decisions and quoting rules.

  17. Diversity does not include everyone and the Socialist Security system still uses outdated rules to justify legally discriminate against some of us. The Socialist Security system can’t even fix an outdated “RULE” that they use to justify discrimination against physically disabled people.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

    • Thank you for your question. If you receive SSDI on your own earnings record, your spouses income will have no impact on your benefits, no matter how much money your spouse earns. Disability benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits.

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