Celebrating the Past and Building the Future

The 80th Anniversary seal of Social Security. The seal  has "Celebrating 80 years" written on it.Social Security turns 80 this week. That’s right; we’re the new octogenarian in town!

We began celebrating last month. On July 23, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin, hosted a 90-minute commemorative event on Capitol Hill, to highlight our agency’s history and to illuminate our way forward.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland sponsored the event.

Four former Social Security commissioners joined Acting Commissioner Colvin at the event including JoAnne Barnhart, Kenneth Apfel, John Callahan, and Gwendolyn King.

In the words of Acting Commissioner Colvin, “Our 80th anniversary gives us the opportunity to reflect on the incredible part our agency plays in the lives of millions of people – every day.”

She added that in fiscal year 2015, our agency will pay about $887 billion in Social Security benefits to almost 60 million people – or about a fifth of the American population.

The panelists reflected on the vital role Social Security has played in the financial security of American workers and their families over the last 80 years. The panel’s discussion emphasized the agency’s strong stewardship of the disability program, our award winning online services, and our efforts to educate the public about Social Security. A key message emerged – that Social Security is a part of the fabric of America and serves as basic protection to support working men and women, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.

In a panel session moderated by Politico editor Timothy Noah, the former Commissioners discussed the agency’s future and about what makes the agency and program successful. The panel addressed the questions: How do we keep the promise of Social Security to future generations? And, what role should Social Security play in every family’s financial plan?

Social Security, after 80 years, is proud, passionate, and driven toward excellence in serving the American people. We invite you to watch a video of the event.

We hope you will help us celebrate the important milestone of our 80th anniversary on Friday, August 14th by joining our 80th Anniversary Thunderclap using your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr accounts!


44 thoughts on “Celebrating the Past and Building the Future

  1. My only concern is that as a CA teacher who has worked in both public and private schools, I am not allowed to collect the full amount of Social Security that I have earned.

    • As a retired Federal Government employee, I am also unable to collect my full amount of Social Security. Known as Windfall Elimination it punishes us for having a decent retirement by limiting SS benefits.

      • Really?? It looks to me like you must have NOT paid SSI taxes for your entire compensation so … not exactly punishment if you had the advantage of not having deductions from your pay those years. ” The Windfall Elimination Provision may
        affect how we calculate your retirement or
        disability benefit. If you work for an employer
        who does not withhold Social Security taxes
        from your salary, such as a government agency
        or an employer in another country, any pension
        you get from that work may reduce your Social
        Security benefits” Sorry, we’d all like more of everything but at least this is one provision where levelilng the field was intent. .

        • Part of your response make it appear that you work for the SS administration. I hope you don’t. You’re response was a little snarky for someone who is in public service.

        • What’s “leveling” about taking away benefits which I legitimately earned outside government just because I worked for government long enough to earn a pension?

        • I recall some of my elders talking about social security years ago, and how unfair it is. They would say things like, “the only way the federal government should be able to put a number on you, is if you are a federal prisoner. My grandfather retired from the railroad that was exempt from Socialist Security, he got back more than what he paid into the railroads retirement plan. I will never live long enough to get back what I have put in.

  2. Congradulations for 80 years and thank you! Your job is not easy but so very important for many. I would also like to give you some constructive criticism starting with a suggestion. It would be great if the person answering the calls could see and identify the caller. Cisco phone has cameras and many companies carry Cisco Phone systems. Telecomference could be employed. There is a barrier to access when Senior needs to get into Asisted Living and the SS can’t identify her. Please help us with this problem. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Thank you for your feedback and suggestions, Jackie. We are glad to share with you that we are now using video technology in a limited number of locations around the country to deliver timely and efficient service to the public. Our video service delivery helps us serve people in remote areas and reduces time and travel costs. We also use video conferencing to conduct some Social Security hearings. We hope to continue to expand these services in the future.

  3. I am disabled for having seizures and I was denied social security I have other health problems as well and I was still denied and I applied in 2010 and now you are telling me I am only eligible for ssi and I still waiting for the approval for that!

    • That probably won’t be all you will not be eligible for. Have a grand daughter that has had to receive therapy her whole life and now not allowed to get but one set of therapy a year and they are trying to take that from her.

    • Tami, the length of time it takes to receive a decision on your claim can vary depending on several factors including: the nature of your disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources, and if your claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. For updated information on your claim, you can call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to speak with one of our representatives for further assistance. Or, you can visit your local office.

  4. I just want to say thank you for all the hard work y’all do. I know.people get tired of waiting on decisions from Social Security when they file a claim, but there are so many people that apply and so few workers, it just takes time. Once again, Thank you.

    • Thank you! Our employees are committed to providing the public with the best service possible. We will continue our efforts to meet your expectations in the years to come.

    • Thank you very much — we look forward to many more years of serving you in the future! You can participate in our 80th anniversary celebration by sharing your story about how Social Security has made a difference in your life.

    • Life has learnt me, doe not beleive in anything you does not hold in your hand! the fact is,fantasts is still searching after the gold of Rommel!its an industryes where interested people invest their monne in pure gready!Fact is also that you can not find something there already is found! wee found the gold of &#22e0;Romm8l” the year of 1963 and i am awaithing to publice a novel abouth it.

  5. If we could just get the government to pay back the loans they owe we would be in good shape in Social Security. Oh and by the way if anyone talks about a lock box in the future I will gag!

  6. I am an 78 year old retiree who has paid into both Social Security and Medicare all my life (Since they were introduced). They were sold to us as government backed insurance policies and we and our employers had no option to opt out. When President Johnson raided these funds and put them into the “General Fund” it left them fair game for the politicos over the years to use the money and put worthless IOUs in the funds. We are now left with a ponze scheme that is near broke. We need the “lock-box” amendment to save what we have and be able to fulfill the promise to future generations. These are NOT Entitlements. We didn’t ask for hand outs. We worked hard and long to pay for this portion of our retirement nest egg. This is insurance bought and paid for by the citizens of the United States. Not one cent of it should be spent as well fair or foreign aid ! Please don’t pat your selves on the back as if every thing is all right. We are paying for this and much of our government with barrowed funds. God help our children and grand children.

    • SO SO True and the young people shouldn’t have to pay ours because we have already paid the years we worked and paid both also. Know how you and all the other Seniors feel.

  7. I NEVER RECEIVED A REPLY FROM YOUR STAFF ON THIS POST; please give me an answer to my question on the bottom; thank you 😉

    bettyg on July 29, 2015 at 2:47 am said:

    on my 1st ssdi claim, admin law judge denied me; lawyer asked for a copy of the hearing tape promptly so he could prepare a brief to go to appeals council.

    ssdi/dds/alj staff NEVER sent him or me a copy of this tape. so lawyer NEVER sent a brief to AC.

    then lawyer quit me 4 yrs. into this after my 2nd ssdi claim was filed.

    i waited 2.5 yrs. for AC to review my COMPLETE file.

    lawyer sent a copy to all parties saying he was no longer my lawyer and would NOT be receiving any compensation for anything.

    so AC didn’t have to REVIEW MY FILE since lawyer DIDN’T FILE A BRIEF, so they just looked over aljudge’s denial and agreed. WHY?

    i also asked alj’s office for a copy of my 1st taped hearing; no one acted nor did AC do anything to help me or replied.

    i had 2nd aljudge hearing by teleconference representing myself. he said it would take MONTHS before i heard anything. SURPRISE…HE APPROVED ME in 1 wk. after 5 yrs. going thru all this hell.

    however, since i had to file 2nd ssdi claim, it didn’t go back to ORIGINAL dates i was disabled; started from time of 2nd ssdi claim!

    anyway, i’m complaining because my 1st case was in AC 2.5 yrs. on a shelf; then they DIDN’T look at my 2″ medical files full of documentation and SUPPORTIVE RFC, residual function capacity forms from several drs. grrr!

    i also feel it would be helpful to explain WHY DUPLICATE FORMS are sent over & over; what is the reasoning for this. please have an ARTICLE addressing this!
    bettyg, iowa


  8. Blame the politicians for the changes made to the SSA and all the bills added making changes to the original document. Like changing the monies being placed in the General Fund. How any one that comes to the USA doesn’t have to work but can receive benefits under their relatives or those on Public Assistance receive benefits with out working a day, and the beat goes on. I’m sure there are many loop holes passed by Congress that haven’t been stated, like the 1984 Act for Federal employees on the Offset and the State employees who only get a small amount based on the deal Calpers made.

  9. request for humanitarian relief


    i here by under request to concerning authorities to admit as reasonable issues for
    my request to get medication after being taken out from DECIDUA HOSPITAL IN ETHIOPIA ON 2010,the first
    time being employed as regional state government jijiga as state minister of environment in the position of monitoring and evaluation
    after my graduation from GODEY AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE ON 2009,the fact of issue is that i have been one of the survivals the car
    smashed at AFDEM DISTRICT area since our observation by governmental car owned that specific administration,
    unfortunately, after broken 6 ribs of mine ,the ambulance took me to hospital without compensation and my salary being cut out
    due to that i am taken to over seas hospital that my relative in somaliland could treat me well.from the fact of this view, i beg from your organization o give me a hand to continue my education and my fortune since ethiopian government neglects my right to
    civil reform programme to corruption and anti non daror absame clannish tribe origins from somaliland because the current state
    officials not ready to unite the students and professionals in the stake holders of state regional of somali state ogadenia or jijiga.
    my age is 30 years old with diploma holder of natural resource where my other brothers also like me left from ethiopia none
    yours faithfully:
    Mr Adnan Mohamed Abdullahi

      • For sure they need to stop trying to get the US to pay for all their things because we have an outrageous amount of needy citizens her and all of the ones that are working are the ones that pay for the money that the government sends overseas and say they are being generous; for sure generous with the citizens money.

  10. 8/10/2015
    I too am a retired Government Employee, who lost 12% of my retirement due to age of retirement and still have lost 90% of my Social Security Benefits. Why, when employees that did not retire with Civil Service Retirement, can/do receive all of there SS Benefits.

    After being retired twenty-two (22) years, I now draw about 25% of what my income was in 1992. Why?

  11. Blame the politicians for the changes made to the SSA and all the bills added making changes to the original document. Like changing the monies being placed in the General Fund. How any one that comes to the USA doesn’t have to work but can receive benefits under their relatives or those on Public Assistance receive benefits with out working a day, and the beat goes on. I’m sure there are many loop holes passed by Congress that haven’t been stated, like the 1984 Act for Federal employees on the Offset and the State employees who only get a small amount based on the deal Calpers mad

  12. I wirk for the USPS and I need to know if we can collect a supplement payments from social security at age 59 1/2 or 60 years of age!!!

    • Homer, the earliest age you can get retirement benefits from Social Security is 62. In the meantime, you can create a my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; your earnings record; and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

  13. We need to put social security funds $$$ back into a Lock Proof System and prevent withdrawals of $$$$$ for any reason; other than for Social Security Benefits $$$$$$ pay out administration.

  14. Since this is a celebration, I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” for all that you all do. I wish Social Security a very long life!

  15. got a question. my husband will be 66 in april.2016 does he get full SS on his birthday or does he have to wait until 66 and a half????

    • Your husband will get his full retirement benefit beginning with the month he attains his full retirement age. If his full retirement age is 66 and if he wants his benefits to begin in April 2016, he would receive his first check in May 2016. He can apply three months in advance, and he can complete the online application for Social Security Retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes.

    • We advise people to file for Medicare benefits at age 65, even if they plan to continue working. If your husband is still working and is covered under a group health plan based on that employment, he may want to file for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) only. However, he should speak to his personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan to see what’s best for him. Your husband can also apply for Medicare online.

  16. I started receiving SSA pension back in 2011. I applied for ssi but denied. What is the criteria to be approved for ssi.

    • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. There are many times when people can receive both SSI and Social Security benefits, depending on whether they meet the eligibility requirements. We count the gross monthly benefit amount of your Social Security retirement benefit as Income for the purpose of SSI eligibility. We hope this answers your question.

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