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Monday September 30, 2002

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973


Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

Social Security Announces New E-Government Project
(aquí en español)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is phasing in a new E-Government initiative that will make it easier and quicker for people to apply for Social Security benefits. The project, called eVital, will provide immediate online verification of birth and death information. SSAís new initiative is part of the Presidentís Management Agenda and the Office of Management and Budgetís (OMBís) Quicksilver E-Government initiatives.

"The eVital initiative has tremendous potential to help us improve the service we provide to the American people," said James B. Lockhart III, the Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. "We want to use the latest and most innovative technology to make it easier for the public to access Social Securityís services, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars."

"eVital will save time, energy and money as it makes the required government interactions faster, more secure and efficient for the citizen. Thatís what E-Government is all about," said Mark Forman, OMBís Associate Director for Information Technology and E-Government.

The project, starting in Colorado and scheduled to expand to seven additional states in the coming weeks, will allow SSA employees to verify state birth and death information online, which will enable SSA to process benefit applications and Social Security card requests faster and at lower costs. Additionally, eVitalís direct government-to-government transaction will help reduce fraud.

Currently, the public must provide birth and/or death information in order to receive benefits or a Social Security Number from SSA. If a person does not have the appropriate document, then he or she has to obtain a copy from a state bureau of vital statistics. In some situations, SSA may contact the vital statistics agency directly for a record. In both cases there is usually a fee for the record and a delay in obtaining the copy. This new E-Government project will reduce the cost and time it takes to verify birth and death information.

The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) is the liaison between SSA and state vital statistics agencies. Designated SSA employees use a single interface in a standardized format to generate a request to any participating vital statistics agency in the country. NAPHSIS has built a "hub" to filter the requests and responses to and from SSA.

NAPHSIS is an association with members who are responsible for the vital statistics agencies in every state and in other jurisdictions throughout the United States and its territories. Please visit www.naphsis.org for more information.

Visit www.results.gov/agenda for more information about the Presidentís Management Agenda.

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Note: Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security eNews.

SSA Press Office 449 Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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