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Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973


Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION RESPONDS TO
TERRORIST ATTACKS ON AMERICA

en Español

Social Security is Open for Business

In response to the horrific acts of terrorism against the United States of America on September 11, 2001, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has initiated a series of actions designed to ensure continuity of its operations and a quick response to those who need Social Security services. All but one Social Security office in New York City (26 Federal Plaza) is open. That office is expected to open next week. The Social Security toll-free 800 number (1-800-772-1213) (TTY Number 1-866-545-7316) is fully staffed and operational. Social Security's web site, www.ssa.gov, is up and running 24/7. Social Security benefits will not be interrupted and payments should be received on time.

Social Security Benefits for People Affected by the Terrorist Attacks

Social Security may provide survivors benefits for the families of those who tragically lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.

Those who suffered critical injuries as a result of the attacks may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Social Security is working with local and regional officials as well as with employers in the affected areas to assist families who may be eligible for Social Security benefits. We are working to ensure that emergency procedures are followed that will provide the most prompt and efficient processes for taking claims and paying benefits to the victims and survivors of these attacks.

Those who are already receiving monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits should be assured that their September and October benefits will arrive on time.

Claims Taking and Processing

Social Security has activated special emergency handling procedures for survivor claims resulting from the terrorist plane crashes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

--People applying for survivor benefits using SSA's toll-free 800-number (1-800-772-1213) (TTY Number 1-866-545-7316) will have their claims processed at the time of their call.

--Survivor claimants who choose to file at their local field office will have their claims processed at the time of their visit.

--All survivor claims related to Tuesday's plane crashes will be handled under the Agency's disaster/emergency policies and procedures. These procedures allow for acceptance of airplane manifests, lists of employees furnished by employers and other statements that would place the worker at the scene of the tragedy as proof of death.

--Survivors benefits will be payable for the month of September. These payments will be made in October.

800 Number (1-800-772-1213) (TTY Number 1-866-545-7316)

Social Security's national 800 number representatives will transfer all disaster-related survivor or claims calls to the Immediate Claims Taking (ICT) Units where an application for benefits will be taken immediately.

--The ICT units are a nationwide network of 14 claims processing sites, staffed with 390 claims takers.

Calls to SSA's 800 number originating in the New York City area, the area with the largest number of victims affected by Tuesday's events, are being directed to a designated facility in New York where specially trained operators will handle their calls.

SSA Online - www.ssa.gov

The Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov) has current information:

--Informing the public that all but one Social Security office (26 Federal Plaza) in New York City is open for business,

--Giving SSA's toll-free 800 number and a link to SSA's local office locator to assist persons who need to file a claim for Social Security benefits,

--Assuring people that Social Security benefits in September and October will arrive on time, and;

--Providing a link to the FirstGov.gov website, which contains a list of government agencies and other resources.

These actions should reassure the public that the Social Security Administration will continue to provide compassionate and caring service that has been the Agency's trademark for more than 66 years.

See attached Fact Sheet

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 WestHigh Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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