New Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Issue Paper and Statistical Fact Sheets
As we commemorate Labor Day, this is a perfect time to focus attention on the disability protections that workers pay for through taxes on their earnings. We are happy to announce the release of two rich online data resources for researchers, advocates, and policymakers concerning the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Our new state SSDI fact sheets and national SSDI issue paper make it easy to see exactly how this vital safety net is safeguarding workers and their families in every community across America.
About the New Online Resources
The repository of state SSDI fact sheets includes a separate fact sheet for every U.S. state, as well as for non-state Congressional districts like Washington, D.C. and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For each state or jurisdiction, they show:
- How many disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers are receiving SSDI benefits, and the relative sizes of these groups;
- The average annual SSDI benefit in relation to the poverty threshold;
- The total annual benefits for all SSDI beneficiaries; and
- A breakdown by Congressional district showing the number of disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers receiving SSDI benefits; the average monthly benefit for these groups; and the total monthly benefits for the district.
The data-packed national SSDI issue paper describes five fundamental tenets that Congress used as a basis for establishing the DI program nearly 60 years ago. The authors then go on to examine whether and to what extent today’s program adheres to these core principles. I think you will find it to be an informative and thought-provoking read, as well as a valuable research tool.
August 27th Webinar on the Internet Disability Appeals Application Revitalizations
Social Security has made filing an appeal to your disability decision easier and faster than ever. On August 27, 2015, Social Security is conducting a webinar to highlight the latest enhancements made to the internet disability appeals application, which now features:
- The ability to provide documents electronically when you file your appeal;
- The ability to accept online appeals from people living outside the United States;
- Improved navigation and on-screen help; and,
- Clearer language and less jargon.
Please register here no later than August 26 if you are interested in learning more about filing disability appeals online.
Take part in Social Security Faith Week of Action
That's 80 years of ensuring financial security for millions of individuals—often keeping them from falling into poverty. As part of our 80th anniversary celebration, we're inviting faith and community leaders from across the country to participate in Social Security Faith Week of Action from Sunday, August 2 through Saturday, August 8, 2015. This special week will highlight America's most successful social program and encourage individuals to take charge of their financial future by creating a secure my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
To participate, please visit the Faith Week of Action web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/faithaction. When we receive your RSVP, we will send a confirmation email and an event planning toolkit.
On Thursday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. ET, we will host a conference call to discuss Social Security's Faith Week of Action. To join the call, please dial 1-800-776-0816 and enter the passcode 930047# (you must press the # symbol).
I appreciate your help with giving workers the tools they need to forge a secure future for themselves and their families! I look forward to speaking with you soon.
National my Social Security Week: Help the Public Plan for Today, Tomorrow, and Someday
July 19–25, 2015 is National my Social Security Week. Now in its second year, this campaign aims to educate workers about the importance of planning thoughtfully for life events—starting with creating a secure my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Throughout this week, we ask that you share our retirement planning and other messages with your members, employees, and the public by taking advantage of our 2015 my Social Security toolkit at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty. Here you will discover a wealth of materials that you can begin using now to support the campaign. The toolkit includes eye-catching web banners and publication-ready content for internal and external web pages, blogs, newsletter articles, social media, and email blasts.
Creating a my Social Security account helps workers plan for their future and the future of their families by giving them convenient access to their own personalized Social Security Statement. The Statement provides estimates of future retirement benefits at age 62, full retirement age, and age 70. It also lets workers verify the earnings information we have for them. This is important because future benefits depend on earnings.
On average, Social Security replaces just 40 percent of pre-retirement income. Yet only about half of American workers say they are contributing to a workplace retirement plan. We need your support to help workers understand that they will require other sources of retirement income in addition to Social Security, and that it's never too early (or too late) to start thinking ahead.
Besides retirement, with a my Social Security account, you can also get estimates of future disability and survivor benefits you or your family may be eligible to receive. For those already receiving benefits, a my Social Security can be used to get benefit verification letters, change an address and phone number, and start or update direct deposit information.
In addition, we welcome invitations to assist workers with creating a my Social Security account at your location, whether as part of another activity, such as a conference or annual meeting, or as a standalone event. To explore this possibility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To hear more about my Social Security from Social Security's Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, visit us at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loBsUPMFYfs.
Thank you for sharing our materials and helping us to make this vital campaign a success!
New date for National Disability Forum meeting
The National Disability Forum will now meet on Wednesday, July 15, from 1:00–3:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the International Trade Commission Building, Main Hearing Room, 500 E Street Southwest, Washington, D.C. 20254.
This is a new date due to a conflict with an event that is being hosted by our important federal partner the Interagency Committee on Disability Research. This change will accommodate those who are interested in attending both of these complementary events.
Please register here no later than July 10 if you are interested in participating in the July 15 meeting. Telephone conferencing will be available for participants not attending in person.
This meeting will focus on youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—one of the most vulnerable populations that the Social Security Administration serves. Approximately 1.3 million children receive SSI, and about one-third live in poverty despite these benefits. Policymakers have expressed an interest in improving services and policies that would help these children transition successfully to adulthood.
We will host a panel discussion among leading experts from federal agencies and the non-profit sector on:
- How SSI youth fare during the transition years;
- What services are available across the federal government to support them; and
- Possible improvements in policies and services for these children and their families.
Please see the attached agenda for additional details.
Thank you for your continuing interest in our programs and the people we serve. We look forward to seeing you on July 15th.
Follow our new Twitter account for advocates
Social Security’s Office of External Affairs is now on Twitter! Follow @SSAOutreach to get the latest updates on our national and regional outreach efforts. We created this new Twitter account for our partners in the advocacy community and third parties who serve the public.
Follow @SSAOutreach to:
- Get the latest news on our events, policy updates, and Social Security services.
- Hear from Social Security’s Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin and our senior executives about current topics
- Get live tweets from important conferences and meetings, like our National Quarterly Advocates Conference Call coming up on June 17.
- Find out what’s new at Social Security with communities your organization serves—such as American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, immigrants, people with disabilities, homeless populations, same-sex couples, veterans, women, and young people.
- Keep up with news for appointed representatives, financial planners, health and school professionals, human resource experts, Medicare outreach organizations, representative payees, faith-based leaders, and other third parties with an interest in our programs and services.
- Retweet items of value to your network and members.
We invite you to visit @SSAOutreach and hope you can be among our first followers.
Information on replacing your Medicare Card
We are excited to introduce the expansion of online services available through the my Social Security portal at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Medicare beneficiaries can now obtain a replacement card if they have lost, damaged, or simply need to replace it online using a my Social Security account.
The Medicare card is the most important piece of identification a beneficiary needs—it's proof that they have Medicare health insurance. Medical professionals and insurance companies need this proof to provide care and accurately calculate compensation for services.
Requesting a replacement card through a my Social Security beneficiaries have a critical piece of identification available when required by medical providers as proof of Medicare coverage. Simply access your online my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.” After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail in approximately 30 days.
With a my Social Security account, our beneficiaries can also:
- Get a letter showing what benefits they receive;
- Change their address and phone number;
- Start or change direct deposit of their benefit payment; and now
- Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season
We hope that you find this information helpful, and we encourage you to share it with your members and colleagues.
Social Security Releases America's Favorite Baby Names
Social Security announced the nation’s most popular baby names for 2014. To see the top 10 baby names, visit Social Security’s website and, while you are there, we encourage you to check out the agency’s new bundle of joy, our interactive blog called Social Security Matters.
The blog encourages discussion and offers important solutions. It also is a place where the public can engage in conversations with the agency about what matters most. This is the latest in a long line of tools Social Security offers to help educate the public about their benefits and how to access agency services.
So while you are having fun reviewing the top baby names, and checking out our newborn interactive blog, take a few extra minutes to create a my Social Security account. This secure account allows you to have convenient online access to information on your record and manage your benefits once you start receiving them. You can sign up for a my Social Security account even if you are not receiving benefits.
Please share this information with your colleagues, constituents, and other interested parties.
Faces & Facts of Disability: Share Charlotte's Story
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is one of the many serious afflictions that can attack unexpectedly and rob workers of their livelihood. No one knows this better than Charlotte, who suffered two debilitating strokes in 2007 that left her unable to work.
Before her strokes, Charlotte was working three jobs, going to college, and taking care of a family member with cancer. Now a relative looks after her, and many daily activities she once took for granted are beyond her current capability. Thankfully, she had earned Social Security insurance coverage by paying into the program throughout her working life. Without Social Security payments to replace a portion of her lost income, she’s sure she would be homeless today.
We hope you will place this video on your organization’s website, include it in your social media posts, and distribute it to your email lists. By sharing Charlotte’s story, you can help us spread the word about our programs, which provide a critical safety net for working men and women, children, the disabled, and the elderly when they need it most.
Visit our Faces and Facts of Disability website for more personal stories, facts about the disability program, and ready-to-publish educational materials. Please take advantage of these materials to help the public understand how Social Security disability insurance protects workers and assists our most vulnerable citizens—those living with severe disabilities.
Vision 2025 is Here
Embarking on its 80th Anniversary of being a key piece of the Nation’s fabric, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, yesterday officially released Vision 2025. The vision will serve as a “North Star” to guide Social Security and show how the agency will accomplish and deliver three key priorities: superior customer experience, exceptional employees, and an innovative organization over the next decade and beyond.
Vision 2025 reflects Social Security’s full commitment—now and in the future—to offering customers choices in how they do business with us. This commitment includes sustaining a field office structure that provides face-to-face service and is responsive to members of the public who need or prefer face-to-face service.
For more information, you can access the Social Security Vision 2025 interactive website at www.socialsecurity.gov/vision2025. While there sign up to receive automatic updates and we’ll notify you as we provide updates.We also ask that you help us, by sharing our vision for the future, among your members, associates, and colleagues. To do so we’ve provided the attached blog post from Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, to use on your website blog, newsletters, or through your other social media channels. We invite you to also share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter the following posts, using #ssa2025.
- Social Security has launched Vision 2025! Check it out: http://go.usa.gov/3ZBCu. #ssa2025
- Did you share your ideas with @SocialSecurity for Vision 2025? Be sure to check out their vision at http://go.usa.gov/3ZBCu. #ssa2025
We look forward to working with you to help us provide the best possible service to our customers in the coming years.
Partner with us to help Americans plan and save for retirement
Social Security, along with the American Savings Education Council, the Consumer Federation of America, the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, and the U.S. Department of Treasury, launched the “Campaign for a Secure Retirement: Helping Millions of Americans Plan and Save for Retirement.” The campaign is a joint educational retirement campaign to encourage retirement planning and saving and to promote the online Social Security Statement, available through my Social Security , as an important retirement planning tool.
Help us help the public understand the importance of saving for retirement by taking our pledge.
By supporting this campaign, you will receive periodic updates and promotional materials to use across your various communication channels to remind your friends, colleagues, employees, and members that it’s never too early, or too late, to begin saving for retirement.
Each month, we will target different audiences and focus on different themes, such as women in March, financial literacy in April, and older Americans and small businesses in May. You can stay up to date on our many activities at our informational page for Groups and Organizations.
If you have any questions about the campaign or ideas that you would like us to consider, please contact us at email@example.com.
Social Security Launches New Anti-Fraud Website
Recently, Social Security launched an informative new web page that highlights the agency's many efforts in fighting fraud and protecting every worker's investment in the Social Security program. The web address is www.socialsecurity.gov/antifraudfacts.
Visitors to this site will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the hard work we do every day to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in our programs. The website includes information on the tools we use to fight fraud, spotlights some of our highly successful anti-fraud efforts, and provides materials you can use to help us spread the word that Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud.
We invite you to visit the website and use the materials to help us inform the public that Social Security takes fraud seriously and is very effective in limiting the instances of fraud.
We hope you will join us in disseminating the facts about our anti-fraud efforts as we work together to prevent the use of inaccurate information about fraud to advocate cutbacks in the disability program.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments—or to discuss further ways that your organization can collaborate with Social Security to raise awareness about our efforts.
Replacement Form SSA-1099/1042S for Tax Purposes
With the new year comes tax season—something we all have to prepare for. Americans spend over 13 hours every year doing their taxes. Knowing how difficult filing taxes can be, we would like to help you keep the process as simple as possible. We are excited to offer a new online service to help people who receive Social Security benefits have the information they need to file their tax returns. If your clients receive Social Security benefits, but did not receive or misplaced their SSA-1099, they can use an online my Social Security account to get an instant replacement for tax purposes. Setting up an account is easy, secure, and convenient. They just need to go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Social Security to Expand Field Office Hours Nationwide
Social Security announced today that effective March 16, 2015, as a result of Congress’ approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs.
“This expansion of office hours reaffirms our commitment to providing the people we serve the option of top-notch, face-to-face assistance in field offices even as we work to expand online services for those who prefer that flexibility,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “The public expects and deserves world-class customer service and thanks to approved funding, I am pleased we will continue our tradition of exceptional service.”
For more information about Social Security’s decision to expand field office hours, see our press release.
Please share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.
Social Security Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements
We are pleased to announce that, beginning this month, we are resuming periodic mailings of paper Social Security Statements to workers age 25 and older. Even though most workers will receive a mailing every 5 years, we encourage everyone to create a secure my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, which will allow them immediate access to their online Statement anytime.
The Statement is a valuable financial planning tool providing workers with important individualized information regarding their earnings, tax contributions, and estimates for future retirement, disability and survivors benefits.
Please read the full press release, including a statement by Social Security’s Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, my Social Security Account to Obtain Their Statement Online, Anytime" here.
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to keep workers informed about Social Security. Please help us encourage all workers to sign up for a my Social Security account to regularly review their earnings record and obtain estimates of future benefits for themselves and their families.