20 Federal Agencies Receive Association of Government Accountants Prestigious CEAR Award

For the fifteenth consecutive year, the Social Security Administration received the Prestigious Certificate of  Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR) award. Each year The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) recognizes the outstanding performance and accountability reporting efforts of the federal agencies. SSA was among 20 Federal Agencies that received this award for Fiscal Year 2012.  

View the entire awardee list.

SSA Wins CEAR Award


Social Security Executive Diane Braunstein Wins the 2011 Service to America Medal

Diane Braunstein, now the Associate Commissioner for International Programs, received the 2011 Citizen Services Medal from the Partnership for Public Service at the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Awards Gala. Ms. Braunstein oversaw the development of the Compassionate Allowances program, which fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.

Diana Braunstein


For the third year in a row, Social Security was recognized as one of the top ten "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government".

Social Security employees rate their agency as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government according to The Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.  Among the large federal agencies in the top ten Best Places to Work, Social Security also had the greatest improvement in overall employee satisfaction.

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings draw on responses from more than 263,000 federal employees to produce detailed rankings of employee satisfaction across 290 federal agencies and subcomponents.  Data from the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is used to rank agencies according to a Best Places to Work index score, which measures overall employee satisfaction.  In addition to the employee satisfaction rating, agencies are scored in workplace categories such as effective leadership, employee skills/mission match, pay and work/life balance.  Social Security employees gave the agency higher ratings in all of these categories when compared to the prior survey.

“I am always impressed by the outstanding work of our employees and by their commitment to public service,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. “Our workloads have grown tremendously due to the recession and we are under more pressure than ever to keep up with the increased demand for our services.  Despite these pressures, every day our employees bring the energy and teamwork necessary to provide the public with the highest standard of considerate service.”

“Our employees make a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans,” Commissioner Astrue said.  “I encourage anyone looking for a career in public service to look closely at Social Security.  You can make a difference in people's lives and your own.”

To learn more about careers with Social Security, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/careers. For more information about the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, go to www.bestplacestowork.org.

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

Social Security's Online Services Take Top Three Spots in Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the agency's online services continue to be the best in government and exceed the top private sector sites in customer satisfaction. In results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Social Security's online Retirement Estimator and benefit application remain in the top spots, each with a score of 90, and the Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs application placed third with a score of 87.



Social Security online was selected by Nextgov as one of five government sites "that employ what consultants say are best online practices." The full report can be found here.


Social Security's New Retirement Estimator Rated the Federal Government's Best Online Service

In the third quarter ratings of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index for Federal Websites, the Social Security Administration's new online Retirement Estimator ranked as the best in government. The Retirement Estimator debuted with a score of 90, the highest score in this survey and the second-highest score ever received by a government website. Several other Social Security online services also are rated among the government's top performers and equal to the highest caliber private sector sites, such as Amazon and Google.


Social Security's "Multilanguage Gateway" wins award in the 2007 Web Marketing Association competition

The "Multilanguage Gateway" has won a Standard of Excellence WebAward (third place) in the government category from the 2007 Web Marketing Association competition.

The 2007 WebAwards named the best websites in 96 industry categories. Nominations for best web site came from interactive agencies and web site marketing departments in more than 33 countries from around the world.

The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to set a high standard for Internet marketing and site development on the World Wide Web. A list of websites that won awards in the 2007 competition can be found at http://www.webaward.org.

Webaward 2007 Logo

Social Security Rated One of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

The Social Security Administration was ranked one of the top ten "best places to work" and the most improved large agency by The Partnership for Public Service and American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.

The "Best Places to Work" rankings are based on the results of the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Human Capital Survey, a government-wide assessment of federal employees' job satisfaction and their level of satisfaction with their particular organization.

A closer look at the ranking data shows that SSA scored very high in the following areas: employee skills/mission match; teamwork; effective leadership; performance-based rewards; and advancement, training and development.

"I'm very pleased that this score reflects what many of us already know-- Social Security is a great place to work," said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. "It's my sincere hope that anyone thinking about a career in public service will seriously consider Social Security."

If you want a position with professional and personal growth potential, then join our team at Social Security!

Best Places to Work Logo


Social Security Administration Business Services Online Site recognized as a Leader in Online Customer Satisfaction. The Social Security Administration (SSA) Business Services Online website has received a top satisfaction score in comparison to the recent survey by the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for E-Government.

SSA's Business Services Online website received a score of 82, using the same methodology used by the ACSI, based on a 100-point scale. With this high score, the SSA Business Services Online site outperforms the aggregate score for federal government websites (72.6) by nearly 13 percent.

University of Michigan Logo


The Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA) for 2004 have been announced by the Center for Digital Government. The awards program recognizes outstanding agency and department Web sites and applications that enhance interactions, transaction and/or services – in four categories: government-to-government, government-to-citizen, government-to-business, and government internal. The DGAA is produced in conjunction with the Center's annual Best of the Web (BOW) contest. BOW recognizes the most innovative, user friendly state and local government portals, while the DGAA spotlights some of the nation's most creative, advanced government Web sites' applications. The Center received more than 300 combined entries for the awards programs.

Government-to-government category winners:
3rd place: Business Services Online, U.S. Social Security Admin. (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm)

Digital Government Achievement Award Logo

Microsoft Government Solutions Award Government to Citizen

On January 14, 2004, at the Microsoft Government CIO Summit in Redmond, Wash, Microsoft Corp, with Government Technology's Public CIO Magazine, awarded the Social Security Administration the Microsoft Government Solutions Award in the Government to Citizen category. This award is for E-initiatives aiming to enhance government-to-government or government-to-citizen interaction, transactions, and/or services and was given to recognize the Internet Social Security Benefit Application, found on the www.socialsecurity.gov website.

The award reads: "Recognizing an innovative and exemplary Information Technology solution for the Public Sector. Awarded to the government solution which best demonstrates as effective use of Information Technology in helping government perform it's (sic) mission more effectively or provide superior service to the citizens."

Made up of 3 separate parts, the application allows a person to apply for Social Security retirement, disability or spouse's benefits, or any combination of those benefits online, and eliminate the need to come in or call a social security field office.

Read about the award's background here.



Social Security Rated Among the Best in Government on Computer Security Report Card

Grade Improves to "B+"

A Congressional report card rates Social Security's computer security efforts among the best in Federal government. This report card, issued by the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, gave the Social Security Administration a grade of "B+," the third highest among Federal agencies. Social Security has been among the top-ranking government agencies each of the four years the report has been issued.

"For more than 68 years, Social Security has honored its commitment to the American people to maintain the confidentiality of our records," said Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security. "Through hard work and dedication, we have earned a well-deserved reputation as an Agency worthy of the confidence and trust of the American people."

In the three previous years the report card was issued Social Security has fared well, earning the highest grade in government in 2002 and 2000, and the second highest mark in 2001. The subcommittee's computer security grades are based on information contained in agency reports required by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Technology Photo
Committee on Government
Reform. Chairman Tom Davis
108th Congress

According to a Brown University rating of recent analysis of more than 1,600 state and 60 federal Web sites, found the number of online services has jumped by 21 percent in the past year, but accessibility remains a lingering problem. Sites received points in the ratings for features such as accessibility, readability, database access and fees. Among federal sites, the General Services Administration's FirstGov portal received the top score of 84 points. The top five federal sites were:

  • FirstGov
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Social Security Administration
  • IRS and
  • Library of Congress.

The report ranks SSA's Website 3rd overall, up from 6th last year. The Social Security Administration's website ranks third out of the federal websites and, according to the Brown University report, the website "includes useful information such as how to protect against identity theft as well as a host of databases and statistics including a 'monthly statistic snapshot'. From a menu bar at the top the user may select foreign language translation into 15 separate languages. Following accessibility standards, the SSA's website is both WC3 and Section 508 compliant.

The website offers 17 separate services which include applying for retirement benefits on-line and requesting a Medicare card on-line. There is also a link soliciting feedback on the website's "new look" and the option to receive the SSA's electronic newsletter. A convenient drop-down menu at the top of the screen provides answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions arranged by topic. The SSA's website also includes fun information like a "kids" page and a list of the most popular baby names for 2002."

Brown University

Social Security Online won the 2003 WebAwards Standard of Excellence award, which recognizes web sites that are "the standard of excellence for which all corporate web sites should strive." WebAwards are given by the Web Marketing Association, founded in 1997 to set a high standard for Internet marketing and site development on the World Wide Web.

WebAward entries are submitted by various agencies, web site owners or in-house marketing and e-commerce departments from more than 19 countries worldwide, and judged by a panel of independent Internet experts in such areas as design, navigation, innovation, and usefulness to target audiences.

WebAward Logo

The National Federation of the Blind awarded its Non-visual Accessibility Web Application Certification to the Social Security Administration's redesigned home page and online form I3368 (Disability Report).

The Social Security Administration is the first federal agency to earn such an award. "HP, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Social Security Administration are leaders in Web accessibility," said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "We created the certification process so that Internet accessibility leaders, such as these, could be publicly recognized by the NFB for their efforts. We hope that more companies and organizations will follow the example that these innovators have set and make Web accessibility a priority in their organizations." The award was granted after the National Federation of the Blind conducted task-performance tests of the primary functions of the organizations' Websites.

NFB-NVA Certification


The Social Security Online Multilanguage Gateway received an E-Gov Explorer Award at the 2002 E-Gov Exposition. The award reads, in part, "The 2002 winners provide excellent examples of the genuine progress being made to deliver reliable and efficient E-Government services. E-Gov congratulates the 2002 award winners."

e-Gov Explorer Award


The Newsletter on Newsletters awarded Social Security's online newsletter, eNews, the 2001 "Gold Award" for online subscription newsletters.

The "Gold Award" is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards given to newsletters. Described by Time Magazine as "The bible of the newsletter industry," the organization has been covering newsletters since 1964. Newsletters were judged on their overall excellence - superior editorial content, enhanced by appropriate design and typography, use of photographs and graphics, and ease of access. "Social Security's eNews is an eminently readable newsletter," said Paul Swift, Editor and Publisher of The Newsletter on Newsletters. "The only other federal agency ever to win the Newsletter Awards Competition was the Federal Election Commission in 1994."


The April 26, 1999 edition of Government Computer News featured an article on Social Security Online entitled, "SSA sets mature example for Websites." The GCN article said, "The Social Security Administration's main website is a good example of how to extend Web reach through custom applications. It provides fast public access to a wealth of data collected by SSA."

The Dow Jones Business Directory chose Social Security Online as a "Select Site." The Directory, which contains more than 1,000 Website reviews, is written and edited by the Dow Jones business news service. Social Security Online was considered along with thousands of other business sites in many categories. It was named a "Select Site" because it provides exceptional value to Dow Jones' readers, business professionals who are savvy Internet users, who use the service to find reliable information on the Web.


On March 24, 1998, Social Security Online was featured on a financial show hosted by Bill Griffeth as MSNBC Power Lunch's 'Cool' Site of the Day.


Lycos, one of the largest search engines on the Internet, named the Social Security Administration's History Web page as one of the Top 5 percent sites on the Web for September of 1997.

The Government Executive Magazine named Social Security Online as one of the "Best Feds on the Web", along with nine other government websites including those of the IRS, the Smithsonian Institution, and the White House.


Implementation of the Social Security Statement won "BEST OF CLASS" in the Government/Public Administration category at the ICE (Internet Commerce Expo).

A June 3, 1996 article in the Washington Business section of the Washington Post named Social Security Online "the ultimate website." The article particularly cited the online Social Security Statement.


Vice President Al Gore, along with the National Performance Review, honored Social Security's Team Internet with the prestigious "Hammer Award" for their work in developing Social Security Online.

Team Internet

Social Security Online was selected as one of the Top 5 percent of Websites by the Point Survey.

On June 5, Social Security Online was the "Pick of the Week" of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

The May issue of PC/Computing magazine cited Social Security Online as one of the "101 Best Net Bets,"  describing it as one of "the most interesting and useful" places out of the "more than 2,000,000 sites on the Internet."