The American Dream is Alive

Multiethnic Group of Friends with United States FlagNow, more than ever, is a good time to reflect on diversity to build a better future, as a unified nation. Let’s celebrate our differences without forgetting our fundamental likeness. We are all Americans who believe in freedom and democracy for all.

This is what the American dream is all about. Everyone deserves a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship.

Social Security has retirement benefits and the tools to help you plan for your retirement, and to apply for benefits online. We also provide disability benefits to individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from working. If the disabled individual has dependent family members, they can also receive payments.

If you or anyone you know is disabled, they may qualify for disability benefits. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age. To see if you meet our strict definition of disabled, read our publication Disability Benefits.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. Go online to learn more about Social Security’s survivors benefits.

Honoring each other begins with fair and equal treatment. Social Security guarantees that, if you pay into the system and meet our eligibility requirement, you will receive the benefits due to you. We want to make sure our diverse nation is covered, that everyone gets the benefits they deserve, and that no one is left out. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov to learn more.

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Social Security’s Benefits for Children

Social Security is with you through life’s journey — from birth, to death, and even beyond, by helping to care for surviving dependents. Every year, about 4.4 million children receive monthly benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial situation in an otherwise turbulent time.

Earlier this year, National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March both raised awareness about medical conditions in children. Many families with children who have birth defects or developmental disabilities need medical and financial help. This is where Social Security’s commitment to helping children and families is most evident.

Social Security pays benefits through our disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Our disability program provides vital income for disabled children, including people disabled since childhood. To qualify for children’s benefits under our disability program, the applicant must be the child of a parent entitled to benefits and meet Social Security’s strict definition of disability. A person is disabled under the Social Security Act if he or she can’t work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death.

The SSI program provides payments to blind or disabled children who live in households with low income and limited resources if they meet our strict definition of disability. You can find more information on eligibility requirements by visiting our website.

Our publication, Benefits for Children explains all we do to care for children. Our website is also an excellent source of information. If you think a child you know is eligible for benefits, don’t wait. Share this information and help improve the child’s quality of life today.

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Planning Now Cuts Back on Future Uncertainty

 a couple sitting together on a sofa looking at their mySocialSecurity accountAn old saying tells us that death and taxes are the only guarantees in life. While we know it’s inevitable, death is not something we like to think about. The loss of a loved one is overwhelming. It can leave you devastated, uncertain of what steps to take.

This is especially true when you lose a spouse. The death of a spouse is devastating emotionally, physically, and financially.

Social Security survivors benefits protect your surviving spouse if Continue reading

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Social Security’s Commitment to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Chinese Grandfather Giving Granddaughter Ride On Shoulders In ParkDuring the month of May, we observe Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the United States. We celebrate the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the countless ways they enrich our nation. Like America, the AAPI community draws strength from the diversity of its distinct cultures—each with its own vibrant history and range of perspectives.

I am Andy Liu and I serve as the Social Security Administration’s General Counsel. As a Chinese American and member of the AAPI community, I understand the many challenges and needs of our community. I joined Social Security for its mission – delivering Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the American public. This mission is not complete unless we reach everyone entitled to receive our services.

Social Security treats all people Continue reading

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Shining a Light on your Lifetime Protection

Portrait Indian family at home. Grandparent and grandchild close up face. Asian people living lifestyle. Grandfather and granddaughter.

The Hindu month of Chaitra, April 7 to May 7, is the first month of the Indian calendar with a change in the moon’s orbit.  The month starts with Ugadi/Yugadi, which marks the first day of the new calendar. Yuga means “age” and ādi means “beginning” — the beginning of a new age.

During this month, Hindus celebrate with festivals that bring to life an aspect of the universal truth to empower communities. The rituals of the festivals strengthen bonds between and within families and communities. It is a time to serve those in need and reflect on our blessings. Continue reading

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Social Security — National Reentry Week (April 24th-30th)

A family hugging after a prisoner's releaseThe Department of Justice has designated April 24th-April 30th as National Reentry Week. As a participant agency in the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, Social Security continues to work with other federal agencies to increase transparency about government programs and services.    

Our dedicated reentry web page, https://www.ssa.gov/reentry/, includes SSA-related information about accessing Social Security benefits and resources and links to other federal agencies.  Family members and advocates can readily access information for their relatives or clients about filing for or reinstating benefits, obtaining replacement Social Security cards, veterans’ services and healthcare.

Improving Service to Citizens Returning to the Community after Incarceration Continue reading

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Working Together for the Common Good

Multiracial Group of Friends with Hands in Stack, Teamwork

Social Security emerged from the Great Depression to promote the economic security of our nation’s people. It provides security and peace of mind for America’s workers and their families. Social Security helps protect families against loss of income when the unexpected happens, such as a disability or the loss of a loved one.

On May 1 – 8, the Social Security Administration will celebrate a special week of action by joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about the agency’s programs and services. This year’s campaign theme is “Shining a Light on Your Lifetime Protections.” The goal is to increase knowledge about tools that could change lives for the better and set them on a sound financial course.

We invite you to participate in this effort.  You can learn about your Continue reading

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How We Review Your Disability Benefits

Picture of a man on crutchesWhen you receive disability benefits, Social Security will periodically conduct a review of your condition to make sure you still qualify for blind or disability benefits. With the right information, you can be prepared when this happens.

When your case comes up for review, we’ll send you a letter asking you to come to your local Social Security office. We’ll ask you about how your medical condition affects you and whether it’s improved. We’ll also ask you to bring information about your medical treatment and any work you have performed since Social Security decided you were disabled.

A disability examiner from your state’s Disability Determination Services will request reports from your medical providers, and will carefully review all the information in your case. If the medical evidence is not complete or current, we may ask you to have a medical exam at no cost to you.

Social Security conducts a disability review of your case Continue reading

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When Tragedy Occurs, Your Family Can Count on Us

Older woman comforting a young boyTragedy strikes without warning. For families who lose a wage earner, it can have a devastating financial impact in addition to the emotional one.

Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin says that Social Security touches the lives of every American, often in times of tragedy and uncertainty. It’s true. Our programs go beyond retirement and disability benefits. Social Security helps care for the surviving families of deceased entitled workers.

If you work, some of the Social Security taxes you pay now go toward survivors benefits for workers and their families. In the event of your death, certain family members — widows, widowers (including your divorced spouse), children and dependent parents — may be eligible for survivors benefits. Social Security’s survivors benefits may be more valuable than your individual life insurance.

Continue reading

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Social Security: The Foundation of Economic Security

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security in 1935, he saw the program as a fundamental way to advance economic fairness and social justice. Social Security has grown and improved to fulfill FDR’s vision, and we have just completed a year celebrating the 80th anniversary of this important program.

Today, Social Security’s insurance protection is the foundation of retirement security for almost all American workers and families. The average Social Security benefit is modest – about $1,340 a month – yet this benefit is the main income for most seniors. For two in three seniors who receive it, Social Security is more than half of their total income. Continue reading

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