Meet Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin

On February 14, 2013, Carolyn W. Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security. Previously, she served as the Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, after being nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010. In addition to her role as the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Colvin serves as a Trustee to the Social Security Board of Trustees.

"I consider it an honor to lead the agency working to fulfill Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s great vision for providing some measure of economic security to more than 60 million Americans — the elderly, persons with disabilities, survivors and dependents," Carolyn W. Colvin said.

Learn more about Social Security’s Acting Commissioner by reading her biography at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/colvin.htm.

my Social Security is a Hit

Our hottest new online service is getting a lot of use — to the tune of nearly one million visits a week! my Social Security is an online account that allows people quick access to their personal Social Security information. For example, during a person’s working years, my Social Security can be used to obtain a Social Security Statement to check his or her earnings record and see estimates of future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. People who already get Social Security can get a benefit verification letter, check benefit payment information, and even change address, phone number, and direct deposit information. You or your clients can try it out now at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Learn more about how you can help your clients with my Social Security at our page designed for advocates, social service agencies, and other third parties. You’ll find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/thirdparty.html.

Electronic Payments are the Way to Go

Don’t forget to remind your clients to make sure they’re getting their payments the safest, and most efficient way: electronically.

Because of the U.S. Treasury initiative, most government payments (such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or SSI, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, and Office of Personnel Management benefits) will be made electronically beginning March 1 of this year — with some exceptions.

People still getting paper checks are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit of their benefits into the financial institution account of their choice or participate in Treasury’s Direct Express® debit card program. Learn more about the advantages of receiving benefits electronically at www.godirect.org.

Currently, about 94 percent of Social Security beneficiaries and 83 percent of SSI recipients receive their monthly benefits electronically, the most reliable method of payment delivery. Although people who have not signed up for electronic payments will continue to receive printed checks, they can expect the Treasury Department to be contacting them regularly about the requirement to switch to electronic payments.

Open Government is Good Government

This year, March 10 to March 16 is Sunshine Week — a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give citizens access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger. The week highlights the public’s right to know what its government is doing and why.

For more information, we invite you to explore our Open Government page at www.socialsecurity.gov/open and our Freedom of Information page at www.socialsecurity.gov/foia.

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