COLA, Disability, General Questions, Health Care, Medicare, Online Services, Retirement

2015: The Year In Review

January 11, 2016 • By

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

2015 was a special year for Social Security – we launched our very first blog, “Social Security Matters.” This blog has helped us cover the issues and concerns that are most important to our beneficiaries and their families. Thank you for reading our blog and joining the conversation about Social Security. We look forward to having more conversations with you in the upcoming year.

While we were partial to storytelling about the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, we invite you to check out our top ten Social Security Blog Posts for 2015:

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

The Medicare open enrollment period ran from October 15 through December 7. This was the time to make changes to your current Medicare coverage for 2016. To get a jump-start on open enrollment season, we offered five helpful tips to make sure you were prepared to make a change on your Medicare coverage.

  1. Extra Services For Employers

Social Security helps employers too. Business Services Online (BSO) provides services for employers that make managing employee information quick, easy and secure. Once you register, you can interact directly with us through our online services to meet many of your needs.

  1. Disability Benefits: The Numbers Tell the Story

Social Security released two new online data resources based on disability benefits: the state disability fact sheet and a national disability issue paper. Both of these online resources show how Social Security continues to fulfill our promise of support to America’s workers and their families.

  1. myRA, U.S. Treasury’s New Retirement Savings Option

Are you looking for a simple, safe and affordable way to save for your retirement? The U.S. Treasury now offers a retirement savings account called myRA. This account is designed for people who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through their job.

  1. Reporting Changes is Your Responsibility

If you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes that can affect your eligibility for benefits. These changes must be reported no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change is occurred. You can find a full list of reporting responsibilities in the blog post.

  1. Replacing Your Medicare Card – Know Before You Go (Online)

Have you lost or damaged your Medicare card? You can order a replacement card easily with a my Social Security  account. All you need is internet access and your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.

  1. The Best Age for YOU to Retire

Retirement is a very exciting time in a person’s life. When to retire is a personal decision that you should base on your own personal factors, such as health, family, current cash needs and your future financial needs. You can retire as early as age 62 but the longer you wait, the more your benefit amount will be.

  1. Ex-Spouse Benefits and You

Finally, some good news about getting divorced. If you’re age 62, unmarried and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record.

  1. No Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2016

This was disappointing news for our audience. The Consumer Price Index did not rise since the last cost-of-living adjustment in 2015. As a result, Social Security benefit amounts will stay the same in 2016.

  1. Two New Arrivals: Our New Blog and Top Ten Baby Names for 2014

May 8, 2015, was the launch of our blog with the top ten baby names of 2014. Since 1987, Social Security has released the most requested baby names based on requests for Social Security numbers for newborns. In 2014, “Noah” won for the males and “Emma” won for the girls.


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Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications

Comments

  1. George Svoboda

    Retired congressmen Salary $———?
    Retired average city worker salary$——-?
    pay per week for average head of household not in any union$——?
    Congressman pay per week$——?
    There is no comparison, social security is a big joke!

  2. SB Ward

    Please tell me if I am qualified to draw a spousal benefit based on my ex-spouse’ record to whom I was married 35 years. I was born December 1950 and will reach my full retirement age December 2016. I am currently working. I do not intend to file for my retirement benefits until I am age 70. My ex-spouse filed for his retirement benefits before he reached his full retirement age. Am I entitled to receive a spousal benefit until I file for my retirement benefits based on these facts?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 eliminates aggressive claiming loopholes related to “deemed” filing and voluntary suspension of benefits. The new law will be implemented on a prospective basis only. Our legislative and policy staffs are diligently working with Congress to analyze the intent of the legislation and update our instructions. Please check back for updates.

  3. Eleanor E Stiles

    2-1-2015 We signed up for Medicare Part- B.
    We signed up for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
    We signed up for Medicare Part-D.
    For about 15 yrs.’ we had AmeriHealth HMO. In 2015 the cost and benefits were not to our benefit. We purchase a Medicare Part-D so that we could continued to get our medication in BRAND. Which was the same medication we both have been taking for years. Now for 2016 we were told Medicare will not approved for us to continue to get our medication in BRAND. We can only get our medication in Generic now This is very scary because we know the coating on each one can be different and/or bit different ingredients. Between us we have 12 medications and doing very well with those same medication we have been taking for years. To change all at the same time from BRAND to GENERTIC is very unsetting for both of us. Can you tell me WHY!!

  4. K.C. Hey

    I agree, I paid into ssh for over 40 years and not to get a small increase is pretty sad. One percent while the state employees in our state give themselves a Hugh salary increase. No there was no t401 ibnn our company. I was a single parent of 3 grills. This should be better for the 21st century. Very sad for a great country.

  5. GLORIA DOUGLAS

    SOMEONE, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT DOES GAS PRICING HAVE TO DO WITH RETIRIES GETTING A RAISE IN THEIR SS CHECK. THE AVERAGE RECEPIENT DO NOT OWN CARS. THEY DO US ANY KIND OF WAY AND WE JUST LAY DOWN AND TAKDE IT. MEDICINE AND DIABETIC FOOD IS MORDE EXPENSIVE THAN THE AVERAGE FOOD. PLEASE RESPOND.

  6. JOHNSIE ELAINE SELLERS

    JUST CURIOUS. THERE HAS BEEN NEWS GOING AROUND THAT SOME PEOPLE WERE GOING TO GET EXTRA MONEY IN SOME KIND OF CHECKS. I HAVE SOME FRIENDS TO SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.I THINK IT IS A JOKE SOME ONE STARTED.I TOLD MY FRIEND I WOULD CHECK IT OUT..THANK YOU

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Please be careful, John. For official announcements related to Social Security benefits or programs, go directly to our website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov. Also beware, that all announcement and answers that we provide through social media, contain our official seal. If you do not see our seal on a post, it did not come from the Social Security Administration. If you suspect fraud, report it!

  7. Mark

    A message of thanks and gratitude. A time of good cheer, helping others and being thankful. Please try if you can to take a moment to take a look and maybe readjust the monthly budget, and if needed, a strong positive outlook on goals and aspirations. Remember, 2016 is the first year in several, without a cost of living increase…

    • Susan

      two years ago no cola, and the year before that, no cola. it happens frequently

  8. Sara Cooper

    It’s really a shame that a country as rich as America cannot take care their elders. The Cola method does not work and it is a lot of bullshit!

  9. marie

    I was told by ssa that I could not get by disability an widows benefit so I waited till I was amost 63 before I went to apply for the widows benefits idid start getting it but they would not go back to when I turned 60 why?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Marie and thank you for your question. Individuals must officially file an application to receive Social Security benefits. For widow’s benefits, we generally allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after the applicant has reached his or her full retirement age.
      No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before individuals reach their full retirement age.

  10. Claire

    I disagree with the no cola adjustment for Social Security payments. There may not have been any inflation last year, but that did not stop my supplemental plans B and D from raising the cost of their monthly payments, not does it stop the price of food, prescriptions, electricity, heat, etc. that we seniors on a fixed income have to pay with the same amount of money as we had last year from Social Security payments. Just where does that form of inflation come in when we need the increase more than ever??? This makes no sense to me at all and seem very unfair to those of us who worked for years only to be given less and have to again pay taxes on the same money we paid taxes on when we worked and paid our share into S.S.

    • John OMalia

      You did not pay taxes on the employer contribution toward your retirement. You don’t pay taxes either unless you are a higher income individual. You can shop around each year during the open enrollment period and change your supplemental and part D coverage to something that better suits your needs.

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