National my Social Security Week

August 17 through August 23 is National my Social Security Week!

Throughout the week, we will be hosting sign-up events across the country to help people register for my Social Security. Registering for an account is easy, and account holders can:

  • Verify their earnings records since their future benefits are based on earnings.

  • Get estimates of future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits for themselves and their families.

  • Get benefit verification letters; change their contact information; and start or change direct deposit if they are already receiving benefits.

Your organization can help by encouraging your members and audiences to sign up for my Social Security account at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Taking advantage of this free, secure, and convenient service allows workers to plan for their futures and enables them to ensure that the information we have about them is correct.

Help us make National my Social Security success by posting our graphic to your organization’s web site.

We are excited to announce our first Twitter Chat on August 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT, titled #mySocialSecurity:  Planning for Your Financial Future. Michelle Singletary, Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Columnist for the Washington Post, will join our chat as a featured speaker, along with representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Labor. During the chat, participants can ask the panel questions about my Social Security using the hashtag #mySocialSecurity.

You can also promote our Twitter Chat by tweeting about #mySocialSecurity:  Planning for Your Financial Future and sharing these Twitter Posts using the hashtag #mySocialSecurity:

@SocialSecurity chats about #FinancialPlanning at the #mySocialSecurity #TwitterChat with @FTC and @singletarym on 8/21 @ 1:30 pm EDT

Thinking about #retirement and #financialplanning? Join the #mySocialSecurity #TwitterChat w/ @FTC & @singletarym on 8/21 @ 1:30 pm EDT

What do #Savings #investments & #millennials have in common? Join the #mySocialSecurity #TwitterChat w/ @singletarym & @FTC 8/21 @ 1:30pm

For additional information and materials concerning this critical public awareness campaign, please visit http://socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/materials.html.

Let’s get America signed up for my Social Security !


Social Security's National Disability Coalition

We are very excited to inform you that Social Security has established a National Disability Coalition.  The National Disability Coalition provides an opportunity for all interested stakeholders to share their unique insights on topics of particular interest to Social Security early in the process and directly with policy makers.  Further, it provides an opportunity for stakeholders to hear from one another.

We feel that engaging interested parties through the National Disability Coalition can help us capture innovative ideas – ensuring that our vision for the disability program continues to keep pace with advances in medicine, technology, health care delivery, and the modern workplace.  To learn more about the Disability Coalition, visit us at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ndc/index.htm

As a first step in the National Disability Coalition, we are inviting you to participate in an online comment forum on the Disability Decision Process.  The online forum is now open for public ideas and comments via IdeaScale through August 15, 2014.

This inclusive and collaborative forum helps us develop responsive, effective, and efficient policies that will empower individuals with disabilities, minimize their financial hardship, and ensure proper use of Disability Trust funds.  The activities under the National Disability Coalition supplement, but do not replace, the rule-making process set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act and followed by Social Security.

To participate in the online forum and submit your ideas and comments, you must register at the site.  Although we will consider all the ideas and comments we receive, we will not respond to them.  Since we will moderate the ideas and comments we receive during regular business hours, your ideas and comments may not be viewable immediately.  Include only information you wish to make publicly available.  Please do not include any personal information, such as Social Security numbers or medical information.

Please do not submit personal Social Security benefit inquiries or comments through IdeaScale.  If you have such questions/comments, please submit those through normal channels (see www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/reach.htm).  We will not post or respond to any submissions about personal Social Security benefit inquiries or comments, nor do such posts protect benefit filing rights.

Please share this information with others in your organization and networks.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in September to discuss you input and ideas.

Note

IdeaScale is providing hosting services for this discussion forum under an agreement with Social Security. We do not endorse any non-government websites, companies, or applications. The website does not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility polices of Social Security. IdeaScales’ policies apply to your visit to the IdeaScale website.

Social Security does not guarantee or warrant that the information posted by individuals on the IdeaScale forum is correct and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information.


Social Security's Field Office Service Changes

In February, we sent a letter to advocates and organizations about some upcoming changes to the services we provide at Social Security offices across the country.  That letter notified you that, after consultation with stakeholders and feedback from agency colleagues, we changed the initial date of implementation from February 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014 to help the public adjust to this change and to allow additional time to conduct outreach and provide education to our customers on the alternate, more convenient services that we offer.

Now, to ensure there are no detrimental consequences to those we serve, we have decided to continue to provide benefit verification letters in our field offices until further notice.

We believe that agencies with existing data exchanges with us should not disadvantage members of the public by needlessly sending them into our offices when they have the information readily available, and we further believe that the public will find the convenience of obtaining the information online much easier and faster than making the trip to an office.

We realize, however, that change does not come quickly or easily.  Therefore, we will continue to conduct and expand our outreach and education with the public, as well as with our Federal, State, Tribal, and local partners, while continuing to provide our customers the information they need.  This will enable everyone to get more accustomed to using our online tools and data exchanges.  We will revisit implementation of this change periodically as we assess the impact of our outreach activities.

For security and privacy reasons, we will move forward with our plans to eliminate the issuance of Social Security number printouts in our field offices effective August 1, 2014. 

Please share this information with others in your organization and help us get the word out to all of your members and constituents

We appreciate your continued support helping to inform the American people about this important update.


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.