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Tuesday May 15, 2001

Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973


Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY LAUNCHES NEW "FOR WOMEN" PAGE
AND ONLINE APPLICATION FOR SPOUSE’S BENEFITS

Recognizing the special importance of Social Security to women and the need for women to have access to timely, accurate information about their rights to benefits under the program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) today unveiled a new website, Social Security Online "For Women." The site provides basic Social Security program information on retirement, survivors, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits pertinent to women.

Larry Massanari, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, said, "The Social Security program treats all workers -- men and women -- exactly the same. But because of different life experiences, the real world results are different. As a group, women live longer than men, earn less and rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income. They need to know what the program means to them in their particular circumstances."

"For Women," www.ssa.gov/women, provides links to basic information throughout SSA’s official website --Social Security Online -- that can be relevant to women at different stages in their life. The links are grouped in logical categories to coincide with the various life events affecting women:

"For Women" also provides links to other federal agency websites containing information of interest to women, such as the Department of Labor’s "Women’s Bureau," the Department of Health and Human Service’s "Women’s Health" and the White House’s "Federal Programs and Resources for Women and Families."

Currently, over 106 million Americans are online -- 53 percent of the adult population. Women Internet users have tripled over the past two years. In fact, women represent 49 percent of all those who are online. Women who visit Social Security Online will find another recent and useful SSA innovation. In April, SSA expanded its online Benefit Application to include the ability to apply for Social Security Spouse’s benefits.

Since November 2000, interested persons could apply for Social Security retirement benefits online at www.ssa.gov, the official website for the Social Security Administration. By completing one application, an individual can now apply for their own retirement benefit, or a spouse’s benefit or, if eligible for both, their own retirement benefit and their benefit as the spouse of a retired worker.

While both men and women can apply for Social Security spouse’s benefits online, the fact remains that more women than men qualify for a Social Security benefit as the spouse of a retired worker. Approximately 700,000 people apply for spouse’s benefits annually, over 90 percent of them women.

SSA uses the strongest commercially available encryption to ensure that an applicant’s confidential information is secure as it travels over the Internet.

Note to Correspondents: Fact sheets with additional information about this subject are available below

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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.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.

SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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