3 Reasons Why Social Security is Important to Women

In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Yet, on average, women face greater economic challenges than men in retirement.

Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Women generally live longer than men while often having lower lifetime earnings. And women usually reach retirement with smaller pensions and other assets compared to men. These are three key reasons why Social Security is vitally important to women.

If you’ve worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for at least 10 years and have earned a minimum of 40 work credits, you may be eligible for your own benefits. Once you reach age 62, you may be eligible for your own Social Security benefit whether you’re married or not and whether your spouse collects Social Security or not. If you’re eligible and apply for benefits on more than one work record, you generally receive the higher benefit amount.

The sooner you start planning for retirement, the better off you’ll be. We have specific information for women. Email or post this link to friends and family you love.

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46 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Social Security is Important to Women

  1. Very appropriate, relevant and timely is your article, responding to and inspiring women who have long struggled to meet equality to recognize their own worth and their benefits

  2. What concerns me is the decline in percentage of payout forthcoming. Turning 62 in four years. Last check of account showed payout then was at 75%. I have enough credits to file early, so that is my plan. Will wait and see how all pans out.

  3. I lost my retirement savings during the downturn when I could not find work, and had to take out student loans to get a new degree so I could work in a different field.
    I am working toward taking my Social Security at age 70. It is awesome to me! I can save and pay off the mortgage by continuing to work in yet a third career, Love willing. I love Social Security! I thank heaven for it.

    • Bless you’re heart that you’ve been able to look at things in a positive way and continue being educated. and working. Retirement at 70 yrs young wow… good for you and I pray you get to see the retirement you’ve earned working and educating yourself all these years. Stay well from all the chaos happening in the world today.

  4. My husband passed away and I was told I’m not eligible for his SS. They say we weren’t married long enough. When we married his cancer was in remission and he looked like a very healthy man . Eight months later he was gone. I took great care of him and now I’m on my own. It’s very difficult living on my SS.

  5. My wife has a Police Dept. pension and that makes her ineligible to receive any Soc.Sec. benefits from my pension if I should die before her. It would be called a
    “windfall” for her.Congress has been tinkering with this
    for far too long to get this squared away. I look forward to the posts and blogs from the SSA and read them every time I get them.

  6. My wife and I claimed our SS after we turned 66. She turned 66 before I did. The guy at the SS office said: If she waits to collect her SS until after I would turn 66 she would get a larger amount of money. But, she would have to take a reduction in her SS but when she reached 70 her SS would increase quite a bit. We still haven’t seen the increase in SS for her and we are 71 now.? Were we lied to?

    • Hi Richard, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. If your wife turned 62 before January 2, 2016, deemed filing rules do not apply to her if she waited until her full retirement age to file. If the deemed filing rule does not apply to her and she’s currently receiving just spouse’s benefits on your record, she can delay filing for her own retirement in order to earn delayed retirement credits, up to age 70. She needs to file for retirement as it does not happen automatically. See our Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits FAQs web page for details.

      For your security, we do not have access to your information in this venue. To inquire about switching over to retirement benefits, your wife will need to contact her local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

    • If she had waited until 70, her benefit amount would have been higher. The amount does not go up at age 70 if you are already receiving benefits.

  7. I have very little work history. My husband and I had a blended family, my three kids, our three kids, and his mother and grandmother. I took care of the family and he worked. Common back at that time.
    Now I am 77, and terrified of the future! My husband needs a transplant, my youngest child is 40, they live all over the globe. What will happen to me?

    • I hope your husband’s medical care will permit him to live a long life, but, when he eventually dies (as we all do) you will be eligible for widow’s benefits.

  8. The SSA is finally modernizing the Social Security disability program. The White House wants the SSA to use the IRS definition of full time employee to mean 30 hours instead of 40 hours the SSA uses.

    It is about time we get these lazy Americans back to work and start paying the IRS FICA taxes to support the Social Security and Medicare trust fund.

    • People are working full time 30 hours a week paying FICA taxes to lazy people who say they are too disabled and can only work between between 30 – 39 hours a week.

      Why are we paying taxes for lazy people who can work?.

    • Step 1 of the Social Security disability process is if the claimant is performing SGA. The next steps are additional burden which makes it harder to get disability

      In most States, working 40 hours minimum wage put them way over SGA.

      Why is the SSA lessening their burden by placing the 40 hours full time work requirement?

    • You know the Vocational Expert opinion is based on junk science. Someone might challenge the Vocational Expert’s data saying the jobs are based on the 30 hours work week instead of the 40 hours work week. Everyone gets their occupational job data from the IRS.

      • The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics definition of full time is 35 hours a week. The industry standard for statistical data is 35 hours. How can the SSA support the 40 hours when the vocational evidence goes by 35 hours?

  9. Thank you so much for all the news. It is greatly appreciated.
    I am 72 and have been receiving my benefit amount since age 62. My husband was still working and contributing to Social Security at that time. I always wondered if, at that time, I would have been eligible for his benefits until he received them in 1978.
    No one that I spoke to ever offered that option…was it not offered then?
    M.S.

    • Hi, Marie. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your husband must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Also, when you qualify for Social Security benefits on your own record, we pay that amount first. But if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse, you’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information. For specific questions, you can call us at at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the week. We hope this helps.

  10. I have an unscrupulous conservator who has drained my bank account, year-long savings and more. She says it is illegal for me to get rid of her. I have an attorney who is not too helpful. How do I recover my funds in spite of having kept careful records, books and bank statements

  11. I have a question for high income seniors who enter the Medicare program. Once you start Medicare your premiums are not based on your current income but on income that you earned two years prior as stated by your 1040. Is this correct? Your inflated premium is based on the law called IRMMA which states that if you make a lot of money your Medicare premium should not be subsidized. Correct?. Now if you do nothing and your income dropped below the IRMMA income limits you’ll still be charged the inflated premiums and although Social Security in two years will see you owed no inflated premiums after they receive the 1040 they will not automatically reimburse you on the overcharges. Correct? You will simply lose that money unless you acted. That means you must file form SSA 44 where are you required under penalty of perjury to “estimate your income“ for that current year and the year after and had a qualifying event such as you retired from your job.. The definition of estimated income from the Google business dictionary is A Educated Guess. Is this the definition that Social Security uses or does it have another? You’re then required to bring in your 1040 the following year to confirm your guess on income. Correct? Instead of guessing at our income can we instead just bring in our 1040 and request a refund for the inflated premiums provided of course we met the IRMMA income requirements? Which SSA FORM should we use to request this refund?

  12. Sanders, Tony J. for Public Trustee. Draft Message of the Public Trustee. Hospitals & Asylums HA-15-3-20 http://www.title24uscode.org/ssa2020.pdf

    Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund Creation Act of 2020.

    A BILL.

    To End Child Poverty by 2020 and All Poverty by 2030. To repeal the Adjustment to Contribution Base in Sec. 230 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§430 and replace it with: SSI Trust Fund. There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund to end child poverty by 2020 and all poverty by 2030.

    To overrule the 2.37% DI tax rate for 2018 and amend the effective DI tax rate to 2.05% (2018), 1.95% (2019), 1.91% or 2.0% (2020) in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) with data from the 2019 Annual Report.

    To make a concerted effort to end poverty Congress must amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to ‘$7.50 in 2020 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D). The Labor Secretary is tasked with estimating the cost to unemployment contributors of 6 months maternity protection or sabbatical every ten years and 3 weeks annual holiday/sick pay (coronavirus quarantine, one month of SSI for uninsured).

    To amend Demonstration Projects to ‘Maternity Protection’ in Section 305 of the Social Security Act 42USC§505(a) To expedite the reemployment of mothers who have established a benefit year to claim unemployment compensation under State law the Secretary of Labor shall pay unemployment compensation for 24 weeks, 6 months, of Maternity Protection under International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 183 (2000) as modified to provide for exclusive breast feeding in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Nutrition Actions: Mainstreaming Nutrition Through the Life-Course (2019) + calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. To prevent gender discrimination male contributors and childless women shall be entitled to a 6 month sabbatical without any travel restrictions every ten years. (b) On production of a medical certificate, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave of not less than 14 weeks. Cash benefits shall be provided at a level which ensures that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living. (1) Where a woman does not meet the conditions to qualify for cash benefits under national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice, she shall be entitled to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds, subject to the means test required for eligibility for such assistance, from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) under Sec. 404 of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act under 42USC§604 et seq and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled under Sec. 1611 of Title XVI of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1382 et seq. (2) Medical benefits shall be provided for the woman and her child. Medical benefits shall include prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, as well as hospitalization care when necessary. (c) Employers shall provide at least 3 weeks of paid leave annually to uphold the Holiday with Pay ILO Convention No. 132 (1970) and Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention No. 156 (1981). Employers shall provide up to 12 week of unpaid leave to care for the severe sickness of a child under the Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3).

    To amend the due date of the Annual Report from April 1, April’s Fool Day to June 20-21, Summer Solstice, in Sec. 1161 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1320c-10, and expect to receive the first consolidated Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of Social Security Administration, and Annual Report of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2020.

    To charge Medicaid prices for all, decreasing Medicare Part A payments, increasing Part B payments and deleting Medicare you may be b(k)illed letter hyperinflation.

    To prevent federal revenue loss and burdensome reparation the Treasury must terminate and Congress repeal Withholding of income tax on the wages of non-resident aliens under 26USC§1441. US passports for stateless persons, at regular price or less than $10.

    To raise the $14,294 billion debt ceiling $500 billion annually to $14,794 billion (2018), $15,294 billion (2019) and $15,794 billion (2020) under 31USC§3101.

    To avoid being obligated to pay all arrears due civilian agency budget cuts, fiscal year 2020 congressional budget requests for program levels are to be estimated 2.5% government payroll and international assistance, 3% services, education and Food for Peace annual growth since fiscal year 2016. Or they shall have to be re-estimated, whereas zero growth policies and budget cuts are overruled by 2.7% average annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation, to navigate the Iron Law of Wages according to Engel’s law. Due to public health concerns regarding voluntarism, coronavirus pandemic and the large size of the programs, 3.3% food stamps, 4% disability and temporary assistance for needy families and 6% retirement spending growth are to be electronically administrated according to estimates from the previous accurate year. 2017 for food stamps unless the USDA can set the 2019 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) table right in the first instance.

    To authorize a 2.5% annual raise for Congress-members while consumer price index (CPI) inflation remains between 2.5% – 3%, averaging 2.7%, as it has since 1980.

    Be it enacted in the House and Senate assembled

  13. Sanders, Tony J. for Public Trustee. Draft Message of the Public Trustee. Hospitals & Asylums HA-15-3-20 http://www.title24uscode.org/ssa2020.pdf

    Message of the Public Trustee

    Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund Creation Act of 2020.

    A BILL.

    To End Child Poverty by 2020 and All Poverty by 2030. To repeal the Adjustment to Contribution Base in Sec. 230 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§430 and replace it with: SSI Trust Fund. There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund to end child poverty by 2020 and all poverty by 2030.

    To overrule the 2.37% DI tax rate for 2018 and amend the effective DI tax rate to 2.05% (2018), 1.95% (2019), 1.91% or 2.0% (2020) in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) with data from the 2019 Annual Report.

    To make a concerted effort to end poverty Congress must amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to ‘$7.50 in 2020 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D). The Labor Secretary is tasked with estimating the cost to unemployment contributors of 6 months maternity protection or sabbatical every ten years and 3 weeks annual holiday/sick pay (coronavirus quarantine, one month of SSI for uninsured).

    To amend Demonstration Projects to ‘Maternity Protection’ in Section 305 of the Social Security Act 42USC§505(a) To expedite the reemployment of mothers who have established a benefit year to claim unemployment compensation under State law the Secretary of Labor shall pay unemployment compensation for 24 weeks, 6 months, of Maternity Protection under International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 183 (2000) as modified to provide for exclusive breast feeding in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Nutrition Actions: Mainstreaming Nutrition Through the Life-Course (2019) + calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. To prevent gender discrimination male contributors and childless women shall be entitled to a 6 month sabbatical without any travel restrictions every ten years. (b) On production of a medical certificate, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave of not less than 14 weeks. Cash benefits shall be provided at a level which ensures that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living. (1) Where a woman does not meet the conditions to qualify for cash benefits under national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice, she shall be entitled to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds, subject to the means test required for eligibility for such assistance, from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) under Sec. 404 of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act under 42USC§604 et seq and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled under Sec. 1611 of Title XVI of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1382 et seq. (2) Medical benefits shall be provided for the woman and her child. Medical benefits shall include prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, as well as hospitalization care when necessary. (c) Employers shall provide at least 3 weeks of paid leave annually to uphold the Holiday with Pay ILO Convention No. 132 (1970) and Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention No. 156 (1981). Employers shall provide up to 12 week of unpaid leave to care for the severe sickness of a child under the Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3).

    To amend the due date of the Annual Report from April 1, April’s Fool Day to June 20-21, Summer Solstice, in Sec. 1161 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1320c-10, and expect to receive the first consolidated Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of Social Security Administration, and Annual Report of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2020.

    To charge Medicaid prices for all, decreasing Medicare Part A payments, increasing Part B payments and deleting Medicare you may be b(k)illed letter hyperinflation.

    To prevent federal revenue loss and burdensome reparation the Treasury must terminate and Congress repeal Withholding of income tax on the wages of non-resident aliens under 26USC§1441. US passports for stateless persons, at regular price or less than $10.

    To raise the $14,294 billion debt ceiling $500 billion annually to $14,794 billion (2018), $15,294 billion (2019) and $15,794 billion (2020) under 31USC§3101.

    To avoid being obligated to pay all arrears due civilian agency budget cuts, fiscal year 2020 congressional budget requests for program levels are to be estimated 2.5% government payroll and international assistance, 3% services, education and Food for Peace annual growth since fiscal year 2016. Or they shall have to be re-estimated, whereas zero growth policies and budget cuts are overruled by 2.7% average annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation, to navigate the Iron Law of Wages according to Engel’s law. Due to public health concerns regarding voluntarism, coronavirus pandemic and the large size of the programs, 3.3% food stamps, 4% disability and temporary assistance for needy families and 6% retirement spending growth are to be electronically administrated according to estimates from the previous accurate year. 2017 for food stamps unless the USDA can set the 2019 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) table right in the first instance.

    To authorize a 2.5% annual raise for Congress-members while consumer price index (CPI) inflation remains between 2.5% – 3%, averaging 2.7%, as it has since 1980.

    Be it enacted in the House and Senate assembled

  14. Sanders, Tony J. for Public Trustee. Message of the Public Trustee HA-15-3-20 http://www.title24uscode.org/ssa2020.pdf

    Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund Creation Act of 2020. A BILL. To End Child Poverty by 2020 and All Poverty by 2030. To repeal the Adjustment to Contribution Base in Sec. 230 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§430 and replace it with: SSI Trust Fund. There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund to end child poverty by 2020 and all poverty by 2030. To overrule the 2.37% DI tax rate for 2018 and amend the effective DI tax rate to 2.05% (2018), 1.95% (2019), 1.91% or 2.0% (2020) in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T)(U)(V) with data from the 2019 Annual Report. To make a concerted effort to end poverty Congress must amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to ‘$7.50 in 2020 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D). The Labor Secretary is tasked with estimating the cost to unemployment contributors of 6 months maternity protection or sabbatical every ten years and 3 weeks annual holiday/sick pay (coronavirus quarantine, one month of SSI for uninsured). To amend Demonstration Projects to ‘Maternity Protection’ in Section 305 of the Social Security Act 42USC§505(a) To expedite the reemployment of mothers who have established a benefit year to claim unemployment compensation under State law the Secretary of Labor shall pay unemployment compensation for 24 weeks, 6 months, of Maternity Protection under International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 183 (2000) as modified to provide for exclusive breast feeding in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Nutrition Actions: Mainstreaming Nutrition Through the Life-Course (2019) + calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. To prevent gender discrimination male contributors and childless women shall be entitled to a 6 month sabbatical without any travel restrictions every ten years. (b) On production of a medical certificate, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave of not less than 14 weeks. Cash benefits shall be provided at a level which ensures that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living. (1) Where a woman does not meet the conditions to qualify for cash benefits under national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice, she shall be entitled to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds, subject to the means test required for eligibility for such assistance, from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) under Sec. 404 of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act under 42USC§604 et seq and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled under Sec. 1611 of Title XVI of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1382 et seq. (2) Medical benefits shall be provided for the woman and her child. Medical benefits shall include prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, as well as hospitalization care when necessary. (c) Employers shall provide at least 3 weeks of paid leave annually to uphold the Holiday with Pay ILO Convention No. 132 (1970) and Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention No. 156 (1981). Employers shall provide up to 12 week of unpaid leave to care for the severe sickness of a child under the Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3). To amend the due date of the Annual Report from April 1, April’s Fool Day to June 20-21, Summer Solstice, in Sec. 1161 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§1320c-10, and expect to receive the first consolidated Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of Social Security Administration, and Annual Report of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2020. To charge Medicaid prices for all, decreasing Medicare Part A payments, increasing Part B payments and deleting Medicare you may be b(k)illed letter hyperinflation. To prevent federal revenue loss and burdensome reparation the Treasury must terminate and Congress repeal Withholding of income tax on the wages of non-resident aliens under 26USC§1441. US passports for stateless persons, at regular price or less than $10. To raise the $14,294 billion debt ceiling $500 billion annually to $14,794 billion (2018), $15,294 billion (2019) and $15,794 billion (2020) under 31USC§3101.To avoid being obligated to pay all arrears due civilian agency budget cuts, fiscal year 2020 congressional budget requests for program levels are to be estimated 2.5% government payroll and international assistance, 3% services, education and Food for Peace annual growth since fiscal year 2016. Or they shall have to be re-estimated, whereas zero growth policies and budget cuts are overruled by 2.7% average annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation, to navigate the Iron Law of Wages according to Engel’s law. Due to public health concerns regarding voluntarism, coronavirus pandemic and the large size of the programs, 3.3% food stamps, 4% disability and temporary assistance for needy families and 6% retirement spending growth are to be electronically administrated according to estimates from the previous accurate year. 2017 for food stamps unless the USDA can set the 2019 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) table right in the first instance. To authorize a 2.5% annual raise for Congress-members while consumer price index (CPI) inflation remains between 2.5% – 3%, averaging 2.7%, as it has since 1980. Be it enacted in the House and Senate assembled

  15. I am so sorry and so ashamed that there is an argument with SSI over when or if checks will still be mailed out. This is as bad as the incident with toilet paper. What has happened to us as a people? Everyone needs to calm down, take and deep breath, get on their knees and say a prayer for each other. Bickering over matters like this will only make you sick. People who are serving us are as afraid as we are. Let’s not be offended by a sound or a word out of place. It is not worth it.

  16. I think this is one of the great posts on this topic. This post is really great, very efficiently written information. Keep up the good work and keep us sharing these kinds of informative posts with us. I will also try to check out your other posts.

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  17. Im 58 years old and have worked since I was 14 with only few years off while I was married. I am now disabled and divorced and I had to file for social security. I can’t work at all and I get very little on social security. Is there anything that can help. I was married for 13 years. Please help.

    • When your ex-husband begins receiving retirement benefits, you can file for spouse benefits. It does not affect his benefit amount, and he does not even have to know you are getting benefits based on his work record.

  18. Thanks a ton for the timely advice. A woman indeed faces more financial challenges than men, especially if they are single. So start saving smartly and make your retired life fabulous. Because health is a significant concern when you hit your prime age. I have come across an incredible diagnostic center nearby. If you want to know more details, visit here: https://www.andersondiagnostics.com

  19. I’ve been trying since 2014 to get my disability. My husband gets SSI. I have worked enough to get SSD. Attorneys have let me down. Been waiting for my hearing, yet when I call my newest attorney I keep being told he’ll call me back, and he hasn’t. His receptionist is of no help either. Wellstone Mental health has records showing my issues that keep me from being able to work plus I have diagnoses from my Doctors for other medical issues. I’m 54. And I feel like I’m just being put off. Sick and tired of being sick and tired And I need my disability income And medicare/medicaid. What should I do? At this point I don’t even know if my newest attorney has even filed for me a hearing like he was supposed to have back in 2017. Please help me!

    • Hi Michelle. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

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