Disability, General

Celebrating Those Who Provide Care

December 21, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

elderly man and woman in the parkNovember was National Family Caregivers Month. In his Presidential Proclamation in celebration of caregivers, President Obama reminds us that our great nation was founded on the ideal that we all do better when we look out for one another. For millions of Americans, this concept is more than an ideal. It’s a day-to-day reality.

According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly 57 million people living with disabilities in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults are involved in providing care for a sick or disabled family member. Caregivers provide physical and emotional support for the people in their care. It’s a demanding job with its stresses and rewards, but it’s also a labor of love.

At Social Security, we understand this duty. Our agency is committed to you throughout life’s journey, helping secure today and tomorrow for every American. Caregiving is near and dear to our hearts, and it is deeply ingrained into our employees and who we are as a federal agency.

Our agency works closely with caregivers through our Representative Payee Program. A representative payee is someone who receives and oversees the Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits for anyone who cannot manage his or her benefits. This can be a child or an adult incapable of managing their own funds.

A representative payee is usually a trusted family member or friend of the beneficiary, but when friends or family are not able to serve as representative payees, Social Security looks for qualified individuals or organizations to represent the beneficiary. You can learn about becoming a representative payee by watching our new series of training videos on the duties of a representative payee. It is our hope that these training videos will not only educate individuals about the roles and responsibilities of being a representative payee, but also provide further insight, broaden community awareness, and provide key resources related to the growing incidents of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

Caregivers are valuable and irreplaceable assets to our great nation. Please join us in celebrating them for all they do for those we need them most.

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About the Author

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration


  1. Ann S.

    I have not received my statement on my social security income for 2017. Everyone that I know have received their statements. Can you check and see why I have t received it? Thank you.

    • Ann C.

      Hi! Thanks for your question. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) notices for 2017 are mailed out to beneficiaries during the month of December, so please continue to look out for it in the mail. Remember, if you need proof you get Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security (SSI) Income or Medicare, you can request a benefit verification letter online by using your my Social Security account. To sign in or create an account, click here.

  2. diana b.

    My service dogs Dr prescribed registered USSDR ADA.GOV OF FIVE YEARS HAV MADE ME NOT A BIRDEN ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND HAVE HELPED ME WITH MOBILITY ISSUES ARTHRITIS AND BRAINDAMAGE AS WELL AS MY TURRETS SYNDROME WERE CONFIACATED BY ANIMAL CONTROL AND HELD AT BRADSHAW SHELTER LEAVING ME IMMOBILE AND ALONE SINCE NOV262016 MY PAYEE WONT PAY MY TICKETS AND I WAS ARRESTED FOR A WARRANT I FILLED AN AFFIDAVIT FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS TO PAY TICKETS AND FINES OUT OF MY ACCOUNT SO I QONT LOSE MY DOGS I AM TRYING AO HARD AND CANT FILL FORMS OR OPEN PDF FILES ON MY 3G BUT HAV THUMBWRESTLED TO PAY AND FILE COMPLAINTS EVEN DONATE ONLINE AND I WENT TO THE SHELTER ON BRADSHAW TO RECLAIM MY SERVICE DOGS PET HARBOR SAID WERE READY TO RECLAIM AND PROCESSED MY PAPERS TO PICK MY BABIES UP SO WE CAN GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS AND THE STAFF SAID SUPERVISOR WAS BUSY AND WONT LET ME SEE THESE PRECIOUS ANGELS I SPEND MY SSID CHECK ON EVERY WEEK Pay to keep them off the streets and trained THEM from a puppy to help me with tasks I can’t do on my own and $200 per week I can afford to spoil my service dogs they keep me alive and well In great shape I bust my kneecap if I walk to the store w/o these Angels I haven’t busted my kneecaps as much over the last five yrs these sweet hearts hav better manners than most humans and are my legs they HELP me dress and I need representation to hab them released I was workin at home security and my dogs and I were lied on and thrown off the property by the drug dealers that put my landlord in the hospital and took over city property I want my Service dogs my Family my WHOLE world out of that shelter and home for ChristmaS Please they hav rights and human trafficking and false reporting is a crime and if I’m wrongfully locked up for a crime I didn’t do my loyal service dogs will be adopted out to the druggies that killed their pups n want to use my service dogs to deal drugs and transport and that would defeat the WHOLE purpose of rescuing these gorgeous flawless service dogs FOR a month they’ve been locked in a kennel at the shelter on bradshaw heroin addicts ARE drama fiends and conjured up this ugly scheme over fraudulent dependent claims for tax returns and sabotaged my scam victim compensation my traffick tickets and ibdont want them to turn into warrants and I want to pay so my service dogs can keep rehabilitating my physical issues and I need help with this I’m sik about my service dogs and am a target my SERVICE dogs keep me safe and out of trouble I lovve their lives please someone represent US these are my only caregivers that don’t lie on me false report or fraudulently collect my money and leave me out like a ghost while they spend my money and reap what we’ve sown please sikbubblegum@gmail.com 9162019530 DIANA Buffa I miss my Chainsaws so much and can’t let them down they hav been so good to me and my Family everybody compliments me on my dogs and how well mannered and groomed they are cleaner than me and hav never had a flea or tick I hav no where to go or nothin to do without the assistance of my SERVICE Dogs and we hav rights I am disabled since before March 2009

    • Robin S.

      Diana….Why were your dogs taken from you??? What REASON did ANIMAL CONTROL give you for taking them?

  3. Cindy E.

    I am so depressed this afternoon.I just wanted to go to sleep and Not wake up.Today i called Social Security 800# and Inquired what the meaning of the decision of the Law Judge on my ssa account meant and Marilyn from Social Security actually read my Letter of UNFAVORABLE decision and she said its dated 12/27/2016 in which today is the 21st. she asked me why i am upset crying. i said you just read me my denied letter i filed appeal 1/8/2015 yes almost 2 years ago and she tells me on the phone 4days before Christmas and i only called to ask a questions of a meaning and she sure answered that with reading my letter. Mind you i have Medical Evidence of my body and there are really no jobs for me.nor would anyone even hire me i would be a high risk employee to them even the VE stated. i so am ready to call the President of the United States to help me.this is wrong.There are people out there abuse the system and a true honest person gets screwed. gets kicked to the curb.Might as well of spit in my face. thanks for the Christmas Ruined present Social Security.I hope you Marilyn have a great Christmas since you ruined mine and my life.

  4. Wendy B.

    I really need dentist work. I am a diabetic and have a hard time eating. With being on Medicare, I can not afford anything. If anyone can help me, please.

    • Robin S.

      Wendy…Depending where you live large cities (you may have to travel) have dental clinics for low income patients. They charge according to income. Another resource is dental schools/colleges. Please call your local Department of Aging or Senior Citizen Resources Center . They will be listed in the Whitepages phone book or you can Google them!! Good Luck!!

    • Ann C.

      Medicare may pay for dental services in specific cases. For more information on what Medicare covers, and to learn about programs that may help you save money on medical and drug costs visit http://www.Medicare.gov. We hope this information helps.

      • AKA

        Terrible advice. Medicare would get involved is the case of an injury for constructive surgery. Shame on you, you knew that.

  5. Tony S.

    Sanders, Tony J. White House Office of Management and Budget. Hospitals & Asylums HA-21-12-16 http://www.title24uscode.org/budget2017.doc

    It’s the shortest day of the year. The President elect is requested to submit these budget contents reporting a $50 to $110 billion FY 2018 surplus depending on whether or not the rich are taxed to end poverty by 2020 or the corporate income tax rate reduction theory flops, in the first week of January to first week of February to Congress under 31USC§1105. The President is asked to begin his new administration with good morale by announcing the change of name of (1) the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to Public Health Department (PHD) with a budget permanently less than $1 trillion annually due to adoption of the true 2.5% health annuity since 2014 and (2) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to Customs to set Title 22 Foreign Relations (FR-ee) in the 2017 State of the Union Address under Art. 2 Sec. 3 of the US Constitution. These two departments are to report the costs associated with their legal name changes in agency FY 2018 congressional budget requests by the July 16, 2017 deadline for the new fiscal year October 1, 2017 under 31USC§1106. This work ensures that the budget proposals of lame-duck agencies are consistent with system-wide priorities for maintaining and improving the quality of Federal statistics maintained by WHOMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act as codified at 44USC§3504(e)(2).

  6. Evelyn D.

    I agree with what was said about the payee of the person or family member that has to deal with a disabled child person or whom ever they represent. Why is there no incentive or extra pay for dealing with these people who cannot help themselves. For a family member they could not live on what is actually paid to them. So it befalls to the person who represents them to use what they hardley have to get them through. There needs to be more accessible help for them especially Food Stamps. The ones the government seem to give more Stamps to is the individuals who really don’t need the help, can help themselves or drug addiction people. This makes it harder on the ones who are really disabled since birth. Its like the government penalize them for being born disabled. It seems like they care more for regular people than handicapped or Severely disabled people born at birth. Our priorities seemed to be gone a strayed. Help me with this problem if it seems like a more important subject. Or maybe if the government thinks its worth the effort to help Special Needs People at all.

    • Robin S.

      Evelyn…You make excellent points!! Food stamps are doled out to able bodied men and women EVERYDAY with less requirements needed to apply for a JOB!! Some even receive cash stipends for utility payments…just say you are caring for your grandchildren is all it takes! I see NO DIFFERENCE!! WHY aren’t benefits given to able the bodied who chose NOT to work, the grandparents who takeover their grandchildren care given to caregivers of their elderly and disabled family members??? NO ONE in our government can or will give us an intelligent answer!

    • AKA

      Yep, the taxpayer should have to subsidize all the problems in life we are dealt with. Let’s not let love and duty interfere with taking care of a handicapped child.

  7. William A.

    I cared for my late father at home for over seven years, and I could not afford to pay any Social Security or Medicare taxes to the Federal Government. This period of 24/7 care by me alone in my father’s home was from 1991 to 1998 and I returned to work full-time in 1999. Among her campaign statements, Hillary Clinton had said she would seek to have Social Security increase retirement benefits for people like me, who lost credits because we were full-time caregivers. I am wanting to know if President-elect Trump has similar plans to help us who lost retirement benefits because we cared for a loved one until their death. My dad died at the end of 2000, having been paralyzed from surgery at the age of 72. I retired at the end of 2013 and am today receiving SS retirement and Medicare. Please advise as to any information you have regarding changes that would help us people like me who are in this category. We as a group saved state and federal government lots of money by doing this, but have never have been recognized for our having done this. Thank you.

    • AKA

      Clinton’s proposals were purely political, to get votes and has no basis in reality. After all didn’t 10’s of millions of women stay home to raise children? No one is suggesting anything be added to their non work years to fluff up the amount received based upon their earnings record so why in your case?

  8. Sonya

    I have had no income for six years. My Social Security benefits will be next to nothing years from now when I can begin collecting. If Obama really wants me celebrate caregivers, he would do something about this.

    • AKA

      The 5 lowest years of earnings are dropped from your benefit calculation. This should soften the blow of not working for the past 6 years. As for celebrating caregivers, that is another inappropriate topic for this blog, so what else is new?

    • Kimberly

      That’s the same boat I will be in…

  9. Stephen

    Before Mr. Obama leaves office, it would be great if he promoted improved tax benefits for caregivers allowing deduction for home and facility care such as Long Term Care for which family members either provide the services at no charge, or pay others to provide care until and unless the disabled person qualifies for Medicaid. Care of the disabled bleeds all the assets not only of the disabled person but family members forcing people to resort to Medicaid as the only option. A decent tax deduction for caregivers would delay and in many cases prevent both the disabled person and his or her caregivers from losing all their assets forcing them all onto Medicaid.


    • Candice

      I couldn’t agree with you more…..

    • MAURICE M.

      I agree.

      • Abigail

        I agree. My mom’s caregiver left his job to provide full time care. Care was expected to be for 6 months, but thankfully, we are at over 2 years now. No income for him due to the 24 X7 care. He is paying outrageous premiums for health insurance. Tax help would be a great start.

    • AKA

      Suggest it to your Congressman unless you feel this is another area in which the President can issue an EO.

  10. Jeffrey B.

    Then why does Medicaid reject applications for coverage in assisted living or memory care facilities for people who have live-in children as caregivers?

    • Candice

      Great question. I’d like to know too.

    • Ann C.

      Please contact your local Medicaid office for questions related to your medical assistance benefits.

    • AKA

      Medicaid has nothing to do with Medicare or other Social Security Programs. Call the County Aid Office (Welfare) if you want an answer to that question.

    • Cathy B.

      Hi Jeff,
      I’m not sure what state you live in but if you are looking for extra help you can contact Department of Human Services. Unfortunately there are income requirements, I was kicked off Medicaid then put on a program that I had to pay out of pocket so much money and then I would be put back on Medicaid. I’m now back on Medicaid. If you ca not locate your local DHS office you could try contacting Social Security and she if they may have the contact information. It’s worth a shot. Worst that. An happen is another NO! I feel your frustration.

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