Social Security: The Foundation of Economic Security

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security in 1935, he saw the program as a fundamental way to advance economic fairness and social justice. Social Security has grown and improved to fulfill FDR’s vision, and we have just completed a year celebrating the 80th anniversary of this important program.

Today, Social Security’s insurance protection is the foundation of retirement security for almost all American workers and families. The average Social Security benefit is modest – about $1,340 a month – yet this benefit is the main income for most seniors. For two in three seniors who receive it, Social Security is more than half of their total income. That includes one in three where it makes up all or almost all of their income. Social Security is especially important for communities of color, women, and other vulnerable groups.

At the American Society on Aging’s Aging in America conference on March 23, I will be honored to share vital information about “The State of Seniors in Poverty,” along with the distinguished Kathy Greenlee of the Administration for Community Living.

For example, many people know that 10 percent of seniors, or 4.6 million individuals, live in poverty. Yet many don’t know just how important Social Security is in preventing seniors from falling into poverty. If today’s seniors had to rely on only their income from sources other than Social Security, fully 4 in 10 would be poor. Social Security is our nation’s most effective poverty prevention program; its retirement, disability, and survivor benefits keep 21 million Americans out of poverty, including 14 million seniors. So, keeping Social Security strong is one of the best ways that we, as a nation, can address senior poverty and promote economic security for all.

“But,” you might ask, “what about the future of Social Security?” Actually, Social Security’s finances are far stronger than many people realize. The program as a whole is sufficiently funded until 2034, and after that, it is about three-quarters fully financed. This is a good time to begin a national conversation about how to keep Social Security strong for the very long term – and there are many options available to lawmakers. According to recent public opinion research, including studies conducted by the Pew Research Center and the National Academy of Social Insurance, Americans understand Social Security’s enduring value and support preserving benefits for future generations.

Social Security has had a very successful first 80 years, and I am confident about its long-term future. We at the Social Security Administration look forward to the next 80 years, and beyond, of continuing to serve the American people and building on FDR’s vision of promoting economic security and fairness for the American people.


82 thoughts on “Social Security: The Foundation of Economic Security

  1. I for one am glad someone realize how important social security is to us I for one have worked over 60 years and still have to work to make a living our social security decreases instead of increases I for one don’t think it is right but please keep our social security going let us have a raise thank you for caring.

    • It is my ONLY income, that comes as a “Federal Benefit Credit” each month, and an annuity check for $12.23 a month. I am not disabled yet. It is too low to pay taxes on, but it is based on a lifetime of work. I was about 17 when I got my SS card number. That was 70 years ago. Not enough cost of living increases in so many years. Wages went from 65 cents an hour to 8.50 an hour when I was hurt and unable to work at my job in 1999.

  2. I am still working full time and what I find vastly UNFAIR is that I have to pay income taxes on my all the social security benefits I receive. I am 71 years old.

    • Right–And, what they don’t tell you about starting your benefits at 62, is that the cap on what you can make AND draw SS is only until age 66, then you can make unlimited $ AND continue to draw SS.

      • Under current law, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Also, some people may have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income in addition to your benefits. Please read our publication How Works Affect Your Benefits and see “What happens if I work and get Social Security retirement benefits”. For more information. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040.

        • I am 68 and still working full time. I am also receiving my social security benefit monthly. What would happen if I now got a federal job and worked enough years to receive a pension benefit? Would my social security benefit be reduced?

          • Hi Connie. Generally, only a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your Social Security benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions: The Windfall Elimination Provision and The Government Pension Offset.

        • My name is MJ Henderson. I had a total hip replacement Dec. 2 2015 and I need one more . I can barely walk. I use a walker, sometimes a cane, I go to pain management . My Ortho can’t do my Hip for another 3 months. Now when I was recovering from my first surgery ( I just found this out SS was sending me a bunch of mail ) asking me to sign some stuff so they could Look into my bank.. I didn’t know that I was recovering. Well they turned it off in March2016 and to my Surprise , with my lawyers hip and my Ortho Surgeon I was able to get it turned back on. But there was something in the writing in the letter they last sent me on the 28th of March. About Getting a phone call from SS and maybe meeting up with them. Its never str8 forward. Now I am fear full I won’t have any money for rent next month. SNAP cut my benefits to 100 dollars a month, And Diet is so important. My bones are dying. I have a collapsed left hip and a collapsed shoulder and they think its in my left knee and left hand.Its because I’m HIV+ and I took my meds like my doctor told me too, and now I’m rotting from the inside out and I don’t know what to do?? I gave a letter from my landlord what my rent was. I give him a check and then I have to give him cash the rest of the month.. My rent is 600 for a room in a house but its all I can afford, and I only get 734.00 so that’s 150.00 to work with for a whole month. I am sick of people making it sound like i’m living high on the HOG, I am struggling. My birthday was this month and some friends gave me some gift cards. so that helped. I thought this was over last month!!! I’m 90 days from a total hip replacement. Just please pray for me.. I have been calling my local office for weeks and no one has answered me.

          • One last thing… I wish I could work!!! I wish I could walk, make love, and do everything a 37yo is suppose to do. I am pretty much bed bound. I can’t drive. I can’t walk. This isn’t a life.. I need my legs!!! Please have mercy.. let me get my legs\\

          • We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty reaching someone at the local office MJ. Sometimes we experience higher than normal call volume. You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, for assistance in your case. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day, or later in the week. Please try again, thanks.

    • @Martha;
      Can I ask why you have to pay taxes on your social security the only thing I no is if you are working and getting social security that I understand, but if only getting social security I never heard bout filing taxes on it maybe you no more if you can explain.
      Thank you

  3. I agree with Martha Greeson. When we contributed to Social Security, our wages are already taxed. Now that we get our benefits, we are again required to pay federal taxes. The money we contributed while working were not tax exempt so why are we to pay again the federal taxes?

    • Years ago, I read it is because the average SS recipient receives at minimum 15% more SS than what they paid in, so the difference should be taxable I suspect people receive far more than the 15% now, but it is still a bitter pill to swallow, to pay tax on the SS. I guess the answer is to not earn more than the allotted amount, then you won’t pay tax on your SS.

  4. Being permanently disabled since I was 45 and unable to make any supplemental income despite many efforts, is very difficult and depressing to say the least. Those (i.e. like Republicans who don’t know crap about what our country needs, and anyone else like Republicans who feel the same) who have a lot of ignorant things to say about the many of us, whether disabled on social security or retired on social security, don’t understand the true benefits and the need for social security.

    Those who own their own businesses and are “successful” look down upon everyone, the vast majority, whom are struggling with everything they’ve got to try to make ends meet… they are the ones who are “down” on social security, making accusations that are not founded on truth at all, but are simply judgmental and they don’t know anything about the need for social security. They look at the disabled and the poor and call them stupid or ignorant or any number of “labels” having nothing to do with the truth of each individual and what they have been going through having nothing to do with lack of education or being “lazy”. I have a masters degree, and because of my disabilities, some from car accidents where I’ve been hit, causing major problems with my spine, as well as being born with a genetic disease that debilitates me, even with activities of daily living (ADLs). It’s difficult, because when people look at me, I don’t look “sick”, but my spine is degenerating and the genetic disease is one that is very complex, taking away the things people do every day and take for granted. There is no “job” I can even do in my condition.

    When I see negative comments people make about social security, they are misunderstanding “who” is behind the “problems” that exist, which cause our social security benefits to continue to dwindle. It’s not something that is talked about, because the people are not aware of how those in Congress as well as the corporate elite (a very small 1% of the wealthy who make the rules, and hide behind those whom the people “think” are making the rules) work — how they continue to keep taking money from social security to use on whatever they deem necessary because they always take from the poor. This has never changed over many centuries, even before social security existed.

    I really wish people would WAKE UP and smell the deception, and take back what is OURS by coming together and letting those in power know that we will not put up with their deception, lies, rules, and even give us candidates for office whom are ALL crooked liars. They are the true thieves in our country and in the world.

    PLEASE… there must be more education on social security and more power to the People to choose people we can trust to hold seats in our government, as well as the pathetic candidates we are given who run for presidency and are ALL liars and not worthy to be “representatives” of our country. SAVE Social Security. Without it, I would be out on the streets with no home, as is the case with many, many people. No one chooses to be disabled or be born with genetic diseases or anything that happens — whatever the situation — that people experience which takes away their ability to have a home and food and the things that ALL people deserve to have, NOT just those whom are wealthy. Many of the wealthy have gotten their wealth through deceptive ways and did not earn it. Yet, they are the same people who blame and shame those whom are hit hard with the difficult life challenges that they did nothing to bring upon themselves.

    Everyone in the world should be united and there should be no one without the basic needs that every human being is entitled to.

    • I have the same Question as above ?
      Will my social security Benefits have any changes after May 1, 2016 ? Please let me know there is any changes.
      Thanks !

      • Social Security is Insurance we paid into Against Old Age & Need
        It is NOT welfare or a gift.
        Congress pay back the 2.6 Trillion that you stole from it!
        Then it will be solvent!

        • Amen! Money should never have been taken from this fund, especially when we can send trillions a year to other countries who even fight against us.

          • I have to Amen that comment! I have never understood how our country send money everywhere but here at home. Charity starts at home. I’m on disability benefits and worked for years before I became disable. It is SO hard living on this income. Those Bigwigs have no idea of what we go through at all. I’ve had to visit food banks, take out payday loans, trying to make ends meet. I say keep our funds at home, help here first, then them. It’s like the airlines says, put your mask on first!

    • Social Security is an important part of our society. To say otherwise is ignorant. Having said that, much of what you posted is judgemental as you seek to find demons where there are none and promote antipathy between the rich and poor. This is not a political forum. People have genuine concerns and this forum gives them an opportunity to get information for others.

    • There are so many people receiving SS who never paid a cent into the system. It is utterly out of control and draining the system. The money is there we just need to elect honest politicians .

      • If you worked and your wife stayed home she also deserves to get a percentage because by working at home you get paid nothing. How is she going to make it, if the husband dies? Most grown children don’t care about their elderly parents because now they have a family of their own, so they aren’t going to pitch in to help the mother. What I get now my wife will get part of it, when she gets to the age she is eligible, if I am alive or dead.

    • I think your being ridicolous i don’t feel like people look down on you cause your truly disabled thats what its there for. I don’t think that anyone really wants to take our ss away. People who work pay into this and its their for a reason.You see its all a effect on our economy when we have illegals over here taking our jobs using up assisted government programs….this just effects everyone in so many ways….i could go on and on.
      Im a republican and my husband has a deteriorating hip and is going to have a full hip replacement hes been out of work for 4 years and we have struggled imensley…hopefully he now will get what he paid into for so many years.
      Im really not sure what your complaining about if you ssi was lowered or something its not because of the republicans the democrats have been in office for how long now?
      No republican wants to cut your ssi they just want to solve the problems that the democrats have caused by allowing to many undeserving people to suck off the goverment.

  5. what is this on the internet that we baby boomers only have till April something to sign up to recieve our full social security or a percentage more instead of losing most of our benefits?? I want to sign up for this ….I’ve worked my butt off and don’t want to lose a dime of what I’ve contributed.

    • Much of what you hear is scare tactics put out by professional “financial planners”. Changes in the law is putting them out of business. If you want to know more about changes in the law it is free. Call the SS toll free number 1-800-772-1213. If you call and make an appointment before April 30th your potential benefits are protected.

      • For Mr. Omalia: What is the reason for which we are scheduling the appointment. What potential benefits are we protecting?

  6. I have two comments:
    The first is that so many people persist in “checking themselves out” at the grocery store and places like WalMart without realizing that by doing so, they are depriving a cashier of a job. That cashier would pay Social Security and Medicare taxes to make the two programs “healthier”.
    My second comment is that there should be a $1.00 a pack tax immediately imposed on cigarettes to make the smokers prepay what they will withdraw from Medicare in later years because of their ruined health from smoking cigarettes.

    • Get real… should applaud people who smoke. They are going to die early and not collect much in Social Security leaving more money for people who have no vices. Hope you’re not one of the millions of obese people in this country that are draining Medicare because of all the medical problems associated with obesity. Apparently being obese is OK but smoking isn’t. Did I get that right????

      • Neither are ok, they are both one’s own fault unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition and not poor eating or lack of exercise

  7. I am in total agreement with Martha and Lynn paying taxes on you SS benefits. I believe that that is one area of benefits that should be tax-exempt. You are taxed on that income previously. But, the government’s agrument is that they need the taxes to pay for roads, social programs, etc., WELL, ahem!

  8. Agreed. A friend of mine just retired and realized at that point that he has to pay federal and state income taxes on his social security. This is ridiculous. It should be tax free after paying federal and state taxes when you were working and paying into social security. After all, the federal government is using your funds to supplement current benefit payments but are not paying you interest on those monies that you lend the social security system. Give us a break why don’t you.

  9. For all of you who are worried about the Government spending all your Social Security benefits and there won’t be enough for you…..why not support an effort to abolish Social Security’s FORCED contribution by you and your employer that gives the money to the Government? Wouldn’t it be better if you could have KEPT your contribution, matched by your employer(s) and invested the money yourself? People who are retired or within 20 years of full Social Security age can stay in the program. But people in their 40s or younger should be able to invest that money for their personal retirements instead of being beholden to the Government to decide how much their monthly benefit will be or if they will get a raise or not. Take responsibility for your retirement. If you don’t want to do it yourself and want the Government to do it for you, then QUIT COMPLAINING. You’re getting what you deserve!

    • If people under 40 were given a choice, then funding for the current recipients would collapse and SS would end as we know it. More people would be thrown into poverty. Further, there is a disability insurance and survivor aspect to SS. Workers could not afford those premiums if they had to but a private plan

      • Social Security is going to collapse without HUGE infusions of more taxpayer money. So, why not set a limit on how many people the system will have to support until they are all dead. The people who started saving for themselves will eventually eliminate the need for a government program. Social Security is a failed program because the life expectancy has greatly increased without an off-setting increase in the retirement age and an increase in percentage of salary that is confiscated from the employee and matched by our employers. I would guess that most of the people who have commented to this blog are also in favor of “means testing”. Be careful what you wish for…..this idea won’t only extend to wealthy people. Remember, “wealthy” is in the eye of the beholder. Someone who makes $25,000 looks rich compared to someone who makes $10,000. I haven’t made millions in my life, but I don’t think it’s the responsibility of people who have made millions to pay for my retirement or healthcare.

        • there is a gradual increase in the retirement age, instituted by ronald reagan in the 80s. If one is born after 1960 they cannot get SS until they are 67. It graduates up from there

          • The full retirement age for a person born in 1960 or later is 67. This means that he or she will receive the maximum Social Security retirement benefit amount that they qualify for, at age 67. Remember, the earliest a person can start receiving reduced retirement benefits will remain age 62.

  10. I am worried, because I am a widow thinking that when I get retired I will get my husband and my share at the same time, but seems the SS only gives now one the higher and I ask why?

    • It is because you are only one person. You can either take yours or half of his benefit, whichever is higher. If he dies first, you begin getting his payment if it is higher. You will no longer receive yours.

    • Hi Maria. It is true that you will only get the (one) higher benefit. Sometimes, a person may be eligible to more than one benefit at the same time. For example, a person may be entitled as a retired worker on his or her own record and as a spouse or a widow on another record. Under current law, a person’s benefit amount can never exceed the highest single benefit amount to which that person is entitled. As a widow, you can start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60. (age 50 or over if you are disabled). At this time, if you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record (but haven’t applied yet), you may have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits first and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date. For more information and to speak to one of our representatives, call our toll free number 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  11. America as a whole does Not know that when one is forced into Social Security Disability, the Government holds back 33% of what you should be getting. It’s not like we wanted to go on Social Security, however what options does one have whom is 55 years young and had a Nasty Fall and broke his back..The Government will not tell you this as they are literally stealing your money that you paid into Social Security..If this is not theft and fraud…then what is…I live in Poverty. We did not get a raise in pay this year due to the price of gasoline going down..Did they think about how Food has almost doubled to purchase..

    • No, they assume that since you pay less for gas, you have more to pay for food. If you don’t have a car and don’t purchase gas, I guess you’re out of luck. If you don’t have enough social security money to pay for food, what are you spending it on? Maybe you could tighten your belt a little on other things. That’s what I have to do and I’m not on Social Security. In case you didn’t realize it, no one has gotten a raise in the workplace either.

  12. Susan, can you tell me who is going to take care of the people whose self invested funds I lost the market crashes just before they retire. It would not be the first time and I recall oboes stopping at our house asking for food in the 30s and 40s when I was a child. We don’t want to see it again.

  13. Government has take my money for over 40 years. When a dollar would buy 10 loafs of bread, they took a dollar. Now they will pay me back with a dollar that won’t buy 1/2 loaf of bread. They collapse the economy so there are less workers paying, they take money to support other government plans, then they say there isn’t enough money left. Get out of the way of business and let the economy grow again and the money will be there. Stress education and family life will improve, and taxes will increase through, earned, higher wages. Stop the Socialist agenda and give people a reason to excel. Government for and by the people is not to be twisted into Government payouts for the millions ( of able bodied potential workers ) paid for by the rest of the people. Social security and medicare taxes are part of the net income and is taxed as if was in our pocket to spend. Medical bills were tax deductable, now the first 10% of your income is not deductable for any medical expenses. (2 years ago it was 7.5%). So, you can be taxed on necessary medical expenses plus being taxed on money you were already taxed on. And, thanks to Obama, medical equipment will get taxed, which will get passed on to you as part cost of the equipment.

  14. No human being can survive on Social Security alone. Many have to choose between buying medicines and medical care (Medicare also has to be paid for and it comes out of the SS checks! No everyone can afford extra for the plan D (medications) or gap policy – Medicare stinks) or buying food and paying electric/water bills. I agree with previous comments that Social Security retirement payments should NOT be taxed.


  16. First, understand SS taxation (payroll taxes); unlike any other federal payroll deduction. Social Security was established as a TRUST FUND with an assigned Trustee/Administrater to oversee the monies incoming and outgoing for this fund only. There was to be no connection to the yearly budget or intermingling of funds from other forms of taxation. SS was a stand alone entity; a trust fund. The money collected in would be payed out to entitled recipients according to the law written at that time.

    That was 80 years ago. Subsequently the law that was made to help retired, their survivors and the disabled has been raped, disjointed, and viciously attacked by administrations and congressional officials in the name of a balanced budget or other self serving excuse. No individual political party is to be denied participation in these activities, all dipped there hands equally into the Trust Fund Savings of Social Security to satisfy some special interest.

    By law Trust Fund SS money was not to be mingled with general tax funds or used to finance anything other than for its stated purpose. So, how did they get around the law? Congress over the years, administration after administration has BORROWED from SS to a sum which is unrecoverable by Social Security. Administration/Congress has literally stollen huge sums of money from our retirement fund. Our Trustees over the years did nothing to protect us, and our government took our hard earned money, but also we haven’t said a word and continue to reelect the same representatives…..who are we to say anything, it was our savings account.

    Just as they now tax us (also in some states) for money that has already been taxed, we complain here about it, I hear it in restaurants, on the streets, but who’s really doing anything about it? Will our elected representatives? Now there’s the biggest mistake as a solution. People in Washington keep saying we are a Democracy; we are not. We are a Republic!!!! In a Republic the power is invested in the states, we elect representatives from the state, send them to Washington on our behalf. We elect a president to serve us, not for him to dictate to us. Remember “We the people”, we are the people, we are the U.S.A. I DO NOT SUGGEST A REVOLT OR UPRISING, SIMPLY STOP BEING SO QUIET AND COMPLACENT. COMPLAINING AMONG EACH OTHER GETS NOTHING, IN FACT NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR COMPLAINTS, WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS. USE YOUR VOICE CONSTRUCTIVELY FOR POSITIVE RESULTS. KNOW THE TRUTH, THE FACTS, BEFORE OPENING UP. BE POSITIVE WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE, NO WHINING OR CRYING ALLOWED. IF YOU WANT SERIOUS CONSIDERATION, APPROACH THE ISSUE IN A VERY SERIOUS MANNER; ADULTS ONLY NOT FOR CHILDREN OR CRY BABIES.

    If there is a time to stand up it’s now. We are 18 Trillion dollars in federal debt, not including what is owed to SS, what the Individual States owe (at least two at or near bankruptcy), The Federal credit rating for the first time in history reduced due to the practices of the the present administration. State credit ratings at a nation wide low, on average. College Credit with low pay back. Etc., etc. And there are some who believe the hype we are in recovery and therefore spend. We need to wake up and face facts. Doomsday? No! Just not yet, the smart people don’t let it happen.

    On Friday, February 26, 2016, Tom Stuckey wrote:

    Sent from my IPad

    On Friday, February 26, 2016, Tom Stuckey wrote:
    states owe (several near or at bankruptcy), College

  17. This article reflects the lack of life planning by most Americans. Never learning to live within one’s means produces a dependency and reliance on social programs. As our society embraces socialism this dependency will only increase.

    • What’s this about ” embracing ” socialism? We are aware that the Obama administration is trying to push socialism down our throats. However, all do not respond like a herd of buffalo with rings in there noses to be pulled wherever and whenever the mastermind dictates. Most U. S. citizens are still free to think for themselves. Socialist thinking doesn’t work well in a Free Republic. Study civics, the United States is a Republic with the power originating at the State level and the Federal government serving the States not visa versa. Socialism only works where the federal government has all authority……the U.S. does not have that arrangement.


  18. Since the pension of the SS is not a salary, why pensioners should pay taxes for that?. That is something that I do not consider fair.
    We have been paying SS for years and years, and now when we expect to receive the pension that by justice we deserve, we see that is an amount reduced by the deduction of tax. SS’s pension should not be considered an income.

  19. I have the same Question as above ?
    Will my social security Benefits have any changes after May 1, 2016 ? Please let me know there is any changes.
    Thanks ! As a retired Tsgt i servred in the US Air Force
    for 21 years. We paid our Social Security tax every month, now its being change ,What Give’s? The people on the hill does not care about senior citizens , all the veterans that paid dues .

  20. I am a wife who has worked off and on, mostly in
    my husband’s business doing clerical work. I was unaware
    that tax forms being filled out were not filed, and all the
    debt had been transferred to my name as I had been put
    on as president.
    When I discovered this about 5 months ago I contacted the IRS and the state right away. Too summarize, I have all
    his debts, and no social security benefits. Very scared.

  21. I recommend changing the Presidential Election Campaign box on the IRS Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ to the Social Security Solvency box and donating the $3/$6 to Social Security . There’s way to much money from special interest groups, lobbyists and Super PACS going to election campaigns these days to warrant having the Presidential Election Campaign box any longer. It doesn’t need shoring up.

    If the stubborn politicians try to derail that then just add a box asking taxpayers to contribute $1 or more to the Social Security Fund when filling their taxes.

  22. Solvent system, you have to be kidding? Must be why you just screwed anyone under 66 out of millions by reducing the ability to file and suspend. Life insurance companies would have did a much better job of handling this money, next you will tell me Bernie Sanders is taking over handling our money

  23. My issue is being taxed of s/s and say my wife passes away and I retire and start collecting my s/s and I pass with in the year, why doesn’t the unused amount of s/s I and my employer put in go to my children? I hear it’s money lost. Is this called the American way the govt rapes the s/s service? Something needs to change. Thank you for letting me vent.


    • Hi Juanita. The length of time it takes to begin receiving payments after receiving a favorable decision in a hearing varies. Approved claims are randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. In your situation, we encourage you to contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. We hope this information is helpful.

  25. Is there any validity to a possible monetary windfall available for eligible Social Security benefits recipients IF they meet certain requirements prior to May 1, 2016 AND are age 60 or over?

  26. I am living by myself i no longer work I being worked since 1972 to 2016 I am 60 years old I have no income Comming in can i get help l fell at my job I don’t see very good have bad circulation on both legs can not stand to long I have DVT I don’t feel nothing on my right side of my body I feel both legs burning from the bottom of my feet I have a hernia Disco could you please help me

    • Hi Virginia, the Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability benefits when they become disabled. You may also be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  27. I sent an email question on April 18. There is no way I can find an answer. The comments sections are scattered throughout the newsletter and are not even grouped according to date. . There should he a way to list locations of comments at the beginning of the Newsletter according to date at least. I am exhausted trying to locate my email.

  28. Nice ideas . I was fascinated by the details – Does anyone know if I could possibly get a fillable a form example to complete ?

  29. There’s also SSI – supplemental security insurance, to supplement SSDI, for those who don’t have enough work history when they become disabled.

    My question is, how come SSI’s economic rules haven’t changed at all since the inception of the program in 1972? Even the census is updated every 10 years. Why not SSI’s rules?

    Here are the problems: allowable unearned monthly income is $20, and allowable earned monthly income is $65. The total of the two is $85, then the gov’t wants back 1 for every 2 dollars earned.

    20 plus 65 may have worked in 1972 when the minimum wage was $1.60/hour. That was the context for these amounts. The 20 unearned amount was 12 times the minimum wage, and the 65 earned amount was 40 times the minimum wage, in 1972!

    In 1972, TV was free, there were no computers, no cell phones, coffee was 10 cents, rent was what? 30, 40 dollars a month? Etc.

    $85 is nothing in today’s 2016 economy. We are not living in 1972!!!! How come the amounts haven’t been modernized to our minimum wages? It should be, for each minimum wage around the country. The minimum wages vary greatly, so it can’t be just one figure. It should be to the minimum wage for the area the person lives and functions in. There’s a range, I think, of 7 dollars and some cents per hour, up to 15/hour, around the country.

    Any minimum wage then, should be used as the base for the amounts. For example, let’s say one’s minimum wage is 10/hr, then 12 times that is $120 unearned allowed, and 40 times that is 400 earned allowed. The two total $520 before any giveback. That’s certainly a lot better than the $85 allowable total from 1972’s time that people are being subjected to today!! This is wrong!!

    And perhaps many would think that that is still too low for today’s expenses. Do we think that people actually need double or even triple the ratios of 1972 in order to cover today’s expenses? Today’s expenses are a lot greater than in 1972.

    In any event, why should anyone be subjected to economic rules from 44 years ago? That doesn’t work. Congress, where are you? Everyone says Congress makes the rules. Well, Congress hasn’t kept up with the economic changes, including minimum wage changes, expenses of daily living. Congress, it’s time to allow disabled people to cover their expenses!

  30. 2nd issue – the SSI allowable income resources. For an individual, $2,000. For a couple, $3,000. These amounts haven’t changed since 1989, which was 27 years ago.

    The minimum wage in 1989 was $3.35. Thus the individual amount, $2,000, was 600 times the minimum wage and the couples amount of $3,000 was 900 times the minimum wage.

    Update those ratios to today’s minimum wages, and it becomes more fair, in terms of having the money for a first/last/deposit for moving, or maybe for needed dental expenses or other uncovered medical expenses, etc.

    Minimum wages vary around the country so I think it’s only fair to do the ratios for the area the person lives in and functions in. But at least it’s more modernized.

    For example, to keep it simple, if the minimum wage for the area is 10/hour, then an individual’s resource amount is 600 times that, or $6,000. A couple’s amount is 900 times that, or $9,000.

    And there is a senate bill now, S 1384, asking for $10,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a couple.
    (Note – the rest of it is horrible – asking for only $111/month unearned allowed and $364/month earned allowed. No one can do that either. They need to get real about expenses that people have to cover.)

    There is also the ABLE Act which passed in Dec 2014 allowing those disabled before the age of 26 to have a savings account up to $100, 000 which would not affect their benefits. There is now an amendment bill introduced March 2016 to include those disabled before the age of 46. And next hopefully will come the one that covers people disabled at any age, because, disability is not tied to one’s age.

    I mention these last examples to show there is real work being done on the allowable resource levels, and we need it done now, because people are affected by it now being too low for economic needs.

    • Update – the bill number is 1387, not 1384. I called about it, and its companion bill, HR2442. The Senate one is in the Senate Finance committee and the HR2442 one is in the Ways and Means committee, Human Resources subcommittee. They told me they have not been hearing from people. How are they going to know that disabled people on SSI cannot afford to live via amounts from 1972 and 1989 unless they hear from people? Call/contact your federal reps and let them know disabled people cannot live with a low threshold allowed of $85/month because it dates from 1972 and HAS NEVER BEEN UPDATED TO MODERN TIMES!!!
      Read the above analyses to understand the ratio, between this original equation of 20 unearned plus 65 earned = $$85/month allowed , and the minimum wage of its time, which was 52 times the $1.60/hour minimum wage – we need to update the modern amount to at least 52 times OUR minimum wages! And use the minimum wage of the job area. Nobody, including disabled people can live like 1972.

  31. Where’s the economic justice for disabled people? Still using amounts from the years1972 and 1989 for allowable unearned income, earned income and resources in 2016 is not justice. I suggest everyone contact your federal reps now and ask them to raise all amounts to a livable level. I just discussed the contexts of the minimum wages in 1972 and 1989 to show that all amounts were worth more in their own time, and it’s only right that we get a similar opportunity to have amounts raised in proportion to our current minimum wages to match expenses that have to be covered. The reps aren’t going to know it’s a problem unless we contact them. Whoever your rep is, contact them! Tell them we have to come into the modern age, that no one’s living in 1972 and 1989 anymore!!!!

  32. Beware of faulty foundations.
    I have contributed social security taxes for more than five decades, from 1964 – 2015. A March 2, 2016 letter from SSA recommended that I soon apply for the benefits legally due me, and I did so. Those are benefits I have long incorporated into my own economic security planning, including waiting until age 70 to claim them. SSA has persistently refused to act on that application, putting those plans at jeopardy.
    My application was received by SSA on March 21 and I received a call from SSA to discuss and complete it on March 22, all of which is confirmed in a letter sent from SSA on March 25. Since then, I have been checking my application status online, and getting nothing but, “As of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application.” This in spite of the fact that my eligibility is no way ambiguous or problematic, a fact confirmed by my March 22 discussion with the SSA representative, a discussion in which I was told what my benefits would be, that they would start in July, and that, were I to receive, as I expected, a Medicare bill covering the period after July 1, I should not pay it because after July 1 Medicare costs would be deducted from my retirement payments.
    After two months of the “no decision” message, on or about May 22, I called SSA to see why my application had not been acted upon (this after getting nothing at all from a query to the online help promised in My Social Security). The SSA representative with whom I spoke did some investigating while I held the line. She came up with nothing for me but the reckoning that it was unusual for application approval to take more than six weeks and that she had sent my request for information to the office handling my application which, she said, was obligated to respond to me “within 30 days.” In the meantime, I paid the expected Medicare bill for the 7/01/16-9/30/16 period, entailing who knows what problems once I get, as I certainly shall persist to do, my retirement payments, probably with duplicate Medicare payments deducted.
    The 30-days obligation, if it ever really existed, was not met in any fashion; SSA continues to be totally unresponsive. Now, I am forced to imagine that someone at SSA might be engineering an illegal diversion of my benefits to a criminal confederate, or that they are selling my data to identity thieves (I now have to daily monitor the bank account put at risk by the information my application contains). Or is this a standard SSA ploy designed to avoid payments to those unable to get through SSA stonewalling to have the agency simply meet its legal responsibilities? Is it just due to laziness or apathy or increasingly costly, for what should have been a straightforward transaction, inefficiency? I don’t know and can’t find out. What I do know is that it is shamefully far from the successful provision of security described in Deputy Commissioner Reno’s blog.

    • Hello Mr. Houghton, we apologize for this inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office and know that you can request to speak with the office manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. Keep in mind that benefits are paid in the month after they are due. So, for instance, if your benefits begin with the month of July, you will receive your first benefit payment in August. The exact payment date is determined by your date of birth. 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 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks

  33. SS should pay all ss paid into ss for all widow and widowers that they have paid into ss.also no taxes we already paid We also should receive a living wage .Medicare should be free for low-income people. Just sayin

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