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Colvin Testifies Before Congress
On March 14, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, testified before the House committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services about the importance of Social Security to all Americans, and the level of resources the agency needs to successfully manage its service delivery challenges.
“While we cannot be everything to everyone, we will do the best with the resources we have,” said Colvin. “What Congress can do to help us is to provide us with adequate, sustained, and predictable funding.”
In 2012, Social Security paid more than $800 billion to almost 65 million beneficiaries, handled more than 56 million transactions over the 800 number, received more than 65 million calls to field offices, served about 45 million visitors to our 1,200 field offices, completed more than eight million benefit claims, issued about 17 million new and replacement Social Security cards, and posted more than 245 million wage reports.
“The current budget situation is exacerbating the negative effects of over two straight years of funding levels nearly a billion dollars below the President’s budget Requests,” Colvin said. Because of this, the wait time for visitors at field offices had almost tripled in the last four months. The average hold time for callers to our 800 number has more than doubled from about three and a half minutes in 2010 to 7.5 minutes this January.
Read a transcript of Acting Commissioner Colvin’s full testimony at www.socialsecurity.gov/legislation/testimony_031413.html.
More than Five Million Individuals Have Created a my Social Security Account to Conduct Business Online
my Social Security our newest online service, has hit a milestone with more than five million successful registrations.
my Social Security is an online account that allows registered users immediate access to their personal Social Security information. The service is available during a person’s working years to obtain a Social Security Statement to check their earnings record, and to obtain estimates of future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits.
One of the most popular uses of my Social Security is the ability to quickly access benefit information. People who currently receive benefits can use my Social Security to obtain a benefit verification letter, check benefit payment information, and change address, phone number, and direct deposit information.
Your clients can try it out now at ww.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
You can help them. Learn how at our page designed for advocates, social service agencies, and other third parties. You’ll find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/thirdparty.html.
Video Offered in American Sign Language
If some of your clients prefer to get information in sign language, you’ll be interested in our new video, “Social Security, SSI and Medicare: What You Absolutely Need to Know About These Vital Programs,” available in American Sign Language (ASL). The ASL video presents essential information about our programs.
You can watch the video now at www.socialsecurity.gov/multimedia/video/asl.
The video is also a part of our larger collection of on-demand videos and webinars available at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars.
Disabled Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care Can File Early for Supplemental Security Income
Did you know that young people with disabilities that transition out of foster care can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) up to 90 days before their 18th birthday? This policy helps reduce gaps in their income and could eliminate the incidence of homelessness for this vulnerable population. For more information about this program, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-disabled-youth.htm.