Educating Students About Social Security

" "In May, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and honor all of the educators who are preparing students for the future. Social Security knows that a well-informed instructor is usually the best one suited to educate others. That’s why we have online resources that are easy to access and share.

Social Security’s Educator Toolkit is a rich resource for teachers and advocates. Our Information for Educators page contains information and resources to engage students and to educate them on Social Security. It includes:

  • Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan
  • Links to Social Security webpages
  • Talking points
  • Quiz questions and answers

Here’s a brief sample appropriate for high school students:

Start the discussion by asking the students what they think they know about Social Security and if they think Social Security is important to them as high school students. Capture key words/phrases on the board/screen to keep for future discussion. 

You can access the toolkit for more information.

It’s important for students to understand why Social Security was created, and why it is essential to their lives today and in the future. This knowledge and understanding will provide students a strong base on which to build their financial future. Young workers can also see how Social Security directly relates to them at our students website.

At Social Security, we appreciate informed people speaking about our programs and benefits in a thoughtful and informed way. We value and welcome the efforts all teachers make to educate America’s young people.

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19 thoughts on “Educating Students About Social Security

  1. my spouse draws social security check monthly can he get taken taxes taken out on his check so we do not have to worry about this every tax season? and if so how or who do we contact about this? Thankyou

    • Hi Linda. Thank you for your question. In order to have taxes withheld from your Social Security benefit, you must start by printing, completing and submitting an IRS Voluntary Withholding Request Form (Form W-4V). On this form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld. You can find this form and more information on completing this process here. We hope this helps

  2. I presume this will be a program both for high school and post high school. It is important to ensure they understand the importance and benefits of Social Security. I kind of crash coursed it at retirement time, and your staff was very helpful. It is also important to get the message across that supplemental retirement programs are critical, be they pension, 401(k), private investment or combinations. SSA can help with that. And should continue to do so.

    • It is not for post-HS. In the early 1980’s amendments were made to the Social Security Act (including taxation of benefits). One of the changes was getting rid of college student benefits that were payable until age 22. Benefits continue now until no later than age 19 and 2 months provided the student child is a full-time student in HS or lower.

      • the heck you on about ? this is about a curriculum to teach kids/college kids about SS benefits and how they should structure retire. read the article first

  3. Why would teachers spend their precious teaching time on Social Security Retirement System when many teachers are victims of the Gov Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and draw little or nothing from the Soc Security Retirement system to which they have contributed. Rhetorical question.

    • 87% of state teachers work in states that pay into both systems, so there is no WEP or GPO for them.

      Those “many” teachers are only from a few select states.

      The GPO and WEP are fair.

      A person can’t get the full Social Security benefit because it must take into account someone’s other pension. That pension was earned while they didn’t pay into the Social Security system.

      It is only fair. Why complain about the GPO and WEP to Social Security anyhow?

      You realize, they only enforce the rules that Congress sets forth, for them.

      Complain to congress, all these people whining about GPO and WEP, SSA CAN NOT DO ANYTHING!

      They really don’t care, complain to congress. They would be the ones to change it.

  4. Teach the kids how important investing can be. Also explain to them how the U.S. Government abused the Social Security program and and squandered the money on other things that were not suppose to be stolen from Social Security. Also the government giving all these other folks some of the money that never paid in to the system. Foreigners drawing off SSI that never paid a dime into the system. And now want to call my Social Security that I paid into for 50 years “entitlements” !! The younger generation needs to plan how to clean up the system for the good of the USA!

  5. I think the student Tool Kit is a great IDEA and I’m going to use this kit my the ladies that I serve here at my job!!!

  6. When will the calculation for taxation of SSA benefits be indexed so we will not be taxed every year on our benefits. The Tax Bill did not give us any benefits, the exclusion portion has not change for many years.

  7. Excellent idea.
    Should be a financial course every year, from 9th grade up thru 12th. How to save, how to pay taxes, how to budget, long term trends, how to open a 401k, how to open various bank accounts, etc.

  8. Well, given how poorly our students are being educated and how low our math scores rank in the free world, maybe these kids are ignorant enough that your Social Security Educator Propaganda Tool Kit will actually brainwash them into thinking that Social Security is a good deal! Good luck with that!

  9. I unexpected needed to get my benefit verification for another entity (an agency I know and trust) and when I went to the office I discovered the office closed (office closes to the public apparently on Wednesday beginning @ noon). I learned that all the local offices (at least in Massachusetts) does this. This should not be!!! I understand the need to close to the public for 4 hours a week in order to catch up on paperwork but I believe SSA should consider the need of the beneficiaries and should stagger office closing times (i.e. Roxbury close on Wednesday’s 12-4, Boston close on Thursday 12-4, Chelsea close on Thursday 9-1, Quincy close on Friday 9-1) This would then allow someone who needs something unexpectedly to go to another office.

    • Hi, Maronita. Thanks for your comment. We are open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until 4:00 p.m. Every Wednesday at noon, offices are closed to the public so that employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs. To find your local office, please visit here.

      Remember, most Social Security business does not require a visit to a local field office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, creating a personal my Social Security account, replacing a Medicare card, or reporting a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available anytime at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. Social Security also offers assistance via a toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (Voice) and 1-800-325-0778 (TTY). Representatives are available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We hope this helps.

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