A Call to Teach Our AAPI Seniors About Social Security

two women on laptopAs we approach the new lunar year of the Rooster, we have a unique opportunity to alert our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) seniors about Social Security benefits and eligibility — like the rooster issues its daily morning call.

I believe that we as a society are judged by how we care for the least among us, especially our elderly.

The latest census data reveal that Social Security reduces the overall percentage of seniors living in poverty from 40.5 percent to 8.8 percent. It lifts 15 million seniors out of poverty!

Of the nearly 38 million beneficiaries aged 65 and older, roughly 1.4 million seniors are from the AAPI community, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Sixty-five percent of AAPIs aged 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, including 28 percent who rely on it as their primary source of family income and 9 percent who rely on it as their only source of family income.

Social Security treats AAPI seniors with dignity and is sensitive to cultural and language challenges. There are more than 1,700 AAPI bilingual employees providing services in many Asian and Pacific Islander languages and dialects.  Social Security also provides free interpreter services to limited English proficient AAPIs in their preferred languages and they supply publications in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.  Social Security makes it easy for AAPI seniors to take full advantage of the programs and services available to the public.

But this can only happen if our AAPI seniors — many of whom are culturally isolated and have higher poverty rates than the national average — understand how Social Security is with them through life’s journey.

So let us all take the time to crow a wake-up call to our seniors who may not know about everything Social Security has to offer them!

About Lisa J. Ling, Host of This is Life, with Lisa Ling on CNN


32 thoughts on “A Call to Teach Our AAPI Seniors About Social Security

  1. I am asian american and speaks english and Tagalog but i still do not understand what they are trying to say to me about my benefits. So here it goes . I am an american citizen , worked hard for my SS. I was married for 25 yrs to an american who was in the Air Force for 25 yrs. He retired from the service and retired me too. He remarried , I never did. I worked hard , retired when I turned 62 because of health reason . I was told that I can filed against my former spouse since I was married to him for 25 yrs. And it was a choice , it could be his benefits or mine . I choose my former spouse . But they keep telling me to collect against my SS. I have been to a SS office and nobody seems to be able to answer me correctly or they baffled about it . So I am reaching out here to see where I can get the true answers to this and answers without getting the run around . I just want to go forward with this problem. And thank you so much for everyone’s help. Have a great day. And has not remarried ….

    • If you are 62 years of age already (it sounds like you are older) then your full retirement age or FRA is at 66 years of age.

      If you file for retirement benefits before your full retirement age you DO NOT get a choice to pick your spouse’s record or yours, you would be FORCED to take the higher of the two benefits.

      If you were age 62 before January 1st 2016, then you still qualify under the old rules to do a restricted application. That would be, you would get a choice to pick a percentage of your ex husbands record or take your record BUT that would not be given until you have reached your full retirement age, which is 66 years old.

      Because you filed for retirement benefits before FRA (Full Retirement Age) i.e. before 66, under ANY circumstances you are forced to file for your ex-husbands record AND your own.

      There are NO restricted applications, which means you get a choice to pick which record before FRA.

      You were forced to file for BOTH benefits and you got the higher of the two, which seems like it was your ex-husbands record.

      Call the SSA national 1800 number at 1-800-772-1213 and have an agent look into your actual record to give you the most accurate answer.

    • Thank you for your question Margarette. Remember that if a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. Also, keep in mind that when you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own work history and also qualify for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, we will always pay out from your own work record first. If you are eligible for “Divorced Spouse Benefits”, and the benefit amount on your ex-spouse’s record is higher, you’ll get an additional amount on your spouse’s record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. The option to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date was available for individuals that were born before January 2, 1954 and had already reached their full retirement age. We hope this information helps.

  2. i have not gotten my form ssa-1099 or ss benfit statement for 2016 been on the computer for about 2 hrs ans i am getting more confused than when i started please either help me or turn me in the right direction THANK YOU

  3. Patricia, You should have received the letter of benefits late Nov. or early Dec. I Will pass on the same number, for you to call and they can help you with the 1099. !-800-772-1213. Blessed be.

    • Hi Lea. Representatives at our toll free number (1-800-772-1213/TTY 1-800-325-0778), are available Monday to Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You will experience shorter waiting time if you call later in the week. We hope this helps!

  4. Does the SSA know how dumb it is when it implemented the Ticket-To-Work Act is? I can’t understand it.

    The DDS can refer blind and disabled individuals to the State Vocational Rehabilitation under Title V of the Social Security Act, but not Title II and Title VII. The Social Security Act Section 222(d)(1) states that Vocational Rehabilitation would be made readily available to blind and disabled individuals under Title II and Title XVI.

    Blind and disabled individuals who are approved by the DDS and given an MIE diary is not eligible or protected by the Ticket-To-Work program. The DDS should be able to refer these individuals to the State Vocational Rehabilitation under Section 222(d) of the Social Security Act.

    The is how stupid the Ticket-To-Work Act is. This Ticket-To-Work program was an incentive to get the least disabled individuals back to work.

    The least disabled individuals are the ones with the MIE diary date. They are not eligible under the Ticket-To-Work program when they are just approved by the DDS. They remain on the disability roll and cost taxpayers money.

    Those individuals are not eligible or protected under the Ticket-To-Work program. The old rules should still apply to them like individuals under Title V.

    • I am collecting the free Social Security disability money because the SSA likes giving it away for free. I applied without any treating source and medical records. Just walked into the SSA Local Field Office and said I was disabled. Then the SSA is so backlog from giving away so much free money that the can’t keep up with the CDRs. They sent me the Short Form CDR (SSA-455-OCR-SM), so I am able to collect the free Social Security disability money for several more years.

      • The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. Our agency pays benefits to eligible individuals who can’t work due to a disabling mental or physical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Those who qualify based on our strict definition of disability are among the most severely disabled people in the country. Furthermore, the Social Security Administration conducts “Continuing Disability Reviews” from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. While we want to provide an opportunity for everybody to express their opinion freely, we remind our followers, that we have a dedicated team committed to responding to customer inquiries and sharing important Social Security information. Our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal.

  5. The Social Security Administration stop the DDS from referring cases to the State Vocational Rehabilitation under Section 101(b)(1)(B) and Section 101(b)(2)(A) of P.L. 106-170. https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0455001500

    There is no such section in P.L. 106-170. Some lobbyists from the Ticket-To-Work bribed the SSA official to write it in so the State Vocational Rehabilitation cannot get any referrals.

  6. “A Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff physician is not a treating source. Similarly, a physician whose only relationship to the claimant is as a consulting examiner may not be considered a treating source. Therefore, where a consulting examiner’s finds establish severity and for the first time indicate that specific treatment can be expected to restore ability to engage in any SGA (or gainful activity, as appropriate), the case should not be denied for failure to follow prescribed treatment. The DDS will refer such cases to the vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency for further action.” SSR 82-59: TITLES II AND XVI: FAILURE TO FOLLOW PRESCRIBED TREATMENT

    The DDS cannot deny the claimant for Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment without referring them to vocational rehabilitation.

    A lobbyist for the Ticket-To-Work probably bribed a SSA official to stop the DDS from the referring cases to the State Vocational Rehabilitation, so the Program Manager for the Ticket-To-Work program will get all the referals.

    The least severe beneficiaries for disability get a MIE diary. They are not eligible or protected by the Ticket-To-Work program. The DDS should refer these beneficiaries to the State Vocational Rehabilitation and stop costing taxpayers money.

    “The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-170) eliminates SSA’s authority to refer title II beneficiaries and title XVI recipients for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services in ticket States (i.e., States in which the Ticket to Work program has been implemented).
    Section 101(b)(1)(B) of P.L. 106-170 repeals SSA’s authority to refer title II beneficiaries with disabilities to State VR agencies and Alternate Participants (APs) for rehabilitation services in States where the Ticket to Work program is implemented. Section 101(b)(2)(A) of P.L. 106-170 amends title XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act) to eliminate SSA’s authority to refer title XVI disability or blind recipients to the State VR agencies and APs for VR services where the Ticket program is implemented.” SSA – POMS: DI 55001.500 – Repeal of Referral Authority for Rehabilitation Services In States Where the Ticket to Work Program Is Implemented

    The law doesn’t state that the DDS cannot refer beneficiaries with disabilities to the State Vocational Rehabilitation. If it did, then the SSA minus well get rid of the Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment.

    • There are actually two program set by the Social Security Act. The traditional VR Cost Reimbursement program and the Ticket-To-Work program.

      “State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies can choose to serve Social Security beneficiaries under the traditional VR Cost Reimbursement (CR) program or as an EN under the Ticket program.” https://yourtickettowork.com/web/ttw/public-vr-program

      “Social Security’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Cost Reimbursement (CR) program, authorized in 1981, is only available to State VR agencies. The two purposes of the CR program are:
      To make State VR services more readily available to Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities; and
      To generate savings to the Social Security Trust Fund, for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries and to the General Revenue Fund, for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.” https://yourtickettowork.com/web/ttw/vr-cost-reimbursement

      Social Security Act, Section 222(d) and Section 1615 are still law under the traditional VR Cost Reimbursement program.

      The least disabled people have a MIE diary. They are the most likely to improve and return to work right away. They are not eligible under the Ticket program, but they can be referred by the DDS to State Vocational Rehabilitation under the traditional VR Cost Reimbursement program.

      The SSA wants to give away free money to the beneficiaries with the MIE diary by keeping them on the roll and not referring them to the State Vocational Rehabilitation. The SSA doesn’t want to generate savings to the Social Security Trust Fund under the traditional VR Cost Reimbursement program.

      How can the SSA make State VR services more readily available to Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities under Social Security Act 222(d) and 1615 when they stopped the DDS from referring beneficiaries to the State VR. The SSA is hindering the law.

      • Since the DDS referred them to the State Vocational Rehabilitation agency, if they, without good cause, refuse to continue to accept vocational rehabilitation services or fail to cooperate in such a manner as to preclude their successful rehabilitation, the SSA can get them for Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment.

        The SSA can terminate them under the Group II Exception.

  7. I’m visually impaired,tunnel vision,I ,Sonja L.Williams, suffer from post concussion syndrome,irritable bowel syndrome,hypertension,diabetes mellitus,severe leg injuries, and high cholesterol …..

  8. I’m visually impaired, I suffer from post concussion syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension,high cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus…

  9. I’m visually impaired, I suffer from post concussion syndrome,irritable bowel syndrome, severe leg injuries, hypertension, high cholesterol,I had triple hernia repair on August 24,2016…..I go to Washington hospital center on march9,2017 and due to have a knee replacement after doctors appointment may18,2017…


  10. Having read this I believed it was very informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  11. Hello! I will be 64 in May Im considering appling for my benfits but Im still working with other retirement funds What is the amount of money you can make with out being penalized and how is that determined

    • Hi Carolyn. You can only create a my Social Security account using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You cannot create or use an account on behalf of another person, even if you have that person’s written permission. If your mother needs help managing her Social Security benefits, you may be interested in applying to become her Representative Payee. As a representative payee, you will have access to your mother’s records and the ability to update her account information when need it.
      A face-to-face interview is required when applying to be someone’s representative payee. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment with the local Social Security office, please call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.
      Please read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees for more information. Thanks!

    • Thank you for contacting us, James. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you.

      In your personal, my Social Security account, you can check your benefit and payment information. In the Payment Details section, the Payment History tab allows you to view and print your current benefit and payment information as well as historical information for the past two years.

      If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk” or you can contact your local Social Security office.

  12. Thank you. I am glad that the contents of the blog are helping you. I think that the most difficult thing for freelance writers is to realize that they are also “entrepreneurs” or “entrepreneurs” and that they should not neglect marketing their products. Especially because of the tough competition there is. I hope you can walk this path of the “self-learner” and that your books are gradually a success among readers. Greetings British Essay Writers

Leave a Reply - (comment policy)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *