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Press Release

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Press Office
For Immediate Release 410-965-8904
press.office@ssa.gov

Patty Duke Turns 65, Applies Online for Social Security and Medicare Benefits

In a New Video, Oscar-Winning Actress Applies in her Pajamas from the Comfort of her Own Home

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After years of telling people they can apply online for Social Security in their pajamas, Patty Duke has taken her own advice.  Duke, who turns 65 today, applied online for retirement and Medicare benefits from home at www.socialsecurity.gov

“I had no idea this would be such a momentous occasion,” said Duke, who for three years has volunteered her time promoting Social Security’s online services in numerous Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and media interviews.  In a new online video, Duke puts character acting aside and shows everyone what happened when she and her husband Mike Pearce sat down at the kitchen table, turned on their laptop, and applied for her retirement and Medicare benefits. 

“All of us at Social Security wish Patty a very happy birthday,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.  “She’s a Hollywood legend and an American treasure who reaches a very important milestone today.  True to form, she is the one giving us the birthday present by showing her fellow baby boomers the easiest way to apply for benefits.”

In 2009, Duke reprised her roles as the identical cousins, Patty and Cathy Lane from the Patty Duke Show, for a series of PSAs promoting Social Security’s online services.  In 2010, Duke teamed up with the surviving Patty Duke Show cast members for an additional set of spots.  Earlier this year, she teamed up with entertainment icon George Takei to encourage people of all ages to “Boldly Go” to www.socialsecurity.gov.  In the three years since Duke has volunteered her time with Social Security, millions of people have visited the agency’s website and the percentage of online retirements has more than doubled.

“While I just applied for retirement benefits, I’m not retiring from being a Social Security spokesperson,” Duke says.  “I urge my fellow baby boomers to go online to www.socialsecurity.gov.  If you’re not sure how to get started on the computer, ask a loved one to help you out.  I did, and it was so easy.”

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