Faces and Facts of Disability: Meet Jamey

Meet Jamey. Jamey was born with progressive nerve damage that caused her to be deaf. For many years, employers would not hire Jamey because of her disability, making it difficult for her to have the career she desperately wanted. Social Security benefits kept her from being homeless and motivated her to keep fighting for the life she wanted to live. Eventually at age 35, Jamey was able to find a good job, and end her dependence on Social Security benefits. She has been successfully employed for 19 years helping other people with disabilities overcome obstacles.

We encourage you to watch her story and see how Social Security made a difference in her life. We also invite you to check out materials you can use to raise awareness about the importance of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts/materials.html. If you haven't already done so, please be sure to sign up to receive updates and be one of the first to know when we update the materials.

"Data at Your Fingertips" Webinar

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, Social Security hosted a two-part webinar on Data Exchange Agreements for Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Government partners.

  • Part 1 – “Data at Your Fingertips: An Introduction to SSA Data Exchange Agreements”, explained how to establish a data exchange agreement with the Social Security Administration.
  • Part 2 – “Data at Your Fingertips: SSA Data Exchange, Understanding the Data for Current Users”, explained how data exchange agreements work and how to obtain the data you need.

Data Exchange is the authorized sharing of electronic information under an agreement between SSA and Federal, State, tribal and local government agencies.  Data Exchanges operate on a business-need basis with agencies that administer specific health or income maintenance programs.  Social Security is a government leader in electronic information sharing, with almost 3,000 data exchange agreements and real-time or batch query exchanges, which help you to administer your programs.

You can view the webinar here.

Social Security’s Disability Awareness Campaign, "The Faces and Facts of Disability"

We are proud to announce the launch of Social Security’s disability education and awareness initiative, "The Faces and Facts of Disability." Through this campaign, we hope to educate the public about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and dispel common misconceptions. To learn more about the campaign, visit our Faces and Facts of Disability website at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.

Please help us spread the word.

As part of this campaign, we developed a series of outreach materials for groups and organizations, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts/materials.html, which includes fact sheets, newsletter articles, posters, social media content, PowerPoint slides, and web widgets. We ask that you use these materials, such as the web widgets below, which you can upload to your organization's homepage, to help promote the initiative.

We hope you will join us in these efforts by sharing the "Faces and Facts of Disability" with your members and providing feedback for further enhancement for the campaign. It is often said that knowledge is power. By arming the public with facts about our disability program and telling some of our beneficiaries' stories, together we can empower people to draw their own informed conclusions about SSDI and the vital social support it offers.

Social Security News on Debt Referral Process

You may have read recent news articles related to the Social Security Administration recovering debts from tax refunds under the Treasury Offset Program. In 2008, there was a change in the law that eliminated the statute of limitations related to the Treasury Offset Program. This change allows Federal agencies to refer debts that are more than 10 years old to the Treasury Offset Program for collection. Our agency takes a number of steps to notify individuals of potential adverse actions before attempting to recover delinquent debts.

To be clear, Social Security does not refer the following to the Treasury Offset Program:

  • Children with overpayments established prior to the age of 18,
  • Debt that previously belonged to a parent or other relative, or
  • Deceased debtors.

We just wanted to let you know that pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the law to collect these overpayments, our Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, has halted further referrals of debts that are 10 years old and older to the Treasury Offset Program.

If any Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary believes his or her tax refund has been withheld incorrectly to recover an overpayment under this program, we encourage the individual to request an explanation or seek options to resolve the overpayment. Inquiries may be directed to our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.
You can find Acting Commissioner Colvin’s statement concerning this issue at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/2014/acoss-statement-pr.html.

Please let your colleagues and members know of this important development. As always, we appreciate your ongoing efforts to help us serve the American people.