General, Online Services

Help us Create Open Government Plan 4.0

February 18, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Business Gears and Success

Social Security is always looking for ways to enhance your access to our information.  We are preparing to publish our fourth Open Government Plan in June. Your input regarding ways to improve our programs and services is invaluable. Our last plan, published in 2014, reflected our commitments to transparency and outlined our efforts. In our 4.0 plan, you will find the milestones from our previous plans as well as our strategies moving forward.

Do you have any suggestions for making our data more transparent? Do you have any bold and innovative ideas for using open government techniques and principles to help improve our services?? Do you know of other federal agencies Social Security should work with, or any initiatives we should consider?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we want to hear from you as we create our Open Government 4.0 Plan!

We encourage you to share your ideas on how we can improve our transparency, participation, and collaboration through our Open Government Plan 4.0 Feedback Process. Once there, you can review our last Open Government Plan and take part in the conversation for the next one!

Social Security is committed to providing you with world-class service. Your feedback is vital to our success. After all, who knows what you need better than you? Share your ideas today!

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About the Author

Ruby Burrell, Chief Strategic Officer, Social Security Administration

Ruby Burrell, Chief Strategic Officer, Social Security Administration


  1. Mrs. C.

    Is their an April 30th deadline for SS benefits for folks who are already receiving benefits. Are their any deadlines one should be aware of for this year 2016…Any new laws or policy that will go into effect this year?

    • Ray F.

      Hi Ms. Carter. Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. The new law applies to individuals who request a suspension on or after April 30, 2016. See “What do the Recent Social Security Claiming Changes Mean for Me” for more information.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Ms. Carter. Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. The new law applies to individuals who request a suspension on or after April 30, 2016. See “What do the Recent Social Security Claiming Changes Mean for Me” for more information.

  2. Patricia R.

    My question is can anyone answer this? Why does the SSA say there is no cost of living for millions of seniors. But all the government officials get their cost of living. Why isn’t our cost of living increased by the same method as everyone else’s

    • lydiacopeland

      I looked at the draft saying $5331 , I didn’t believe that…my… father in law realey receiving money in there spare time online. . there great aunt had bean doing this 4 only about fifteen months and a short time ago repayed the loans on their cottage and bought a great new Bugatti Veyron . visit this site …


  3. vjones

    I have tried to help individuals in our agency set up “My Social Security” accounts. I have a BSO account in my and my non-profit agencies name.

  4. tony

    If you look on the Medicaid website, then you will see that Medicaid is the largest payer for mental health service in the country.

  5. Anita U.

    As far as myssaaccount online goes,theres not many options that help you. Besides changing your address or direct deposit info all theres really left is to estimate benefits,check earnings statement,print award letter or order a new card. Applying for benefits is a lenghty process and should be shared with each step of the way. Such as which forms,when mailed and return date. Also date and time stamped when they was recieved. Results from Dr appts that were required for you to attend. Mine were sent to my Kaiser Dr who didnt have time to release them to me so i had to submit a request to outside records to release them to me and was denied. Easier to have reviewed them on my account. Should be able to know name of person handling your application. What the status is of your application,and status of SSI. More cooperation between state agencys that depends on decisions made on benefits that change SNAP and Medicaid. More important is information once you are awarded benefits and past due benefits when you shall recieve those benefits once your representative recieves their fees paid to them with amount and when recieved. Which at that time the representative must then send the client an itemized receipt of their services. Many times i have called my local office for answers to my questions,only to leave vmails to my rep and hope for a return call that same day. But more than often the return call comes several days later,when the info im asking about would be more readily available on my account. Thank you.

    • tony

      If people saw online that a decision has been made, then they would be calling every day harassing the customer service number that they haven’t received their decision in the mail yet.

      Snap and Medicaid are welfare programs. People want the SSA to spend billions of dollars to make it easier for them to collect welfare.

      SSI is the new welfare. Once the TANF runs out, they make an appointment with the psychiatrist/psychologist complaining about anxiety and depression and collect disability.

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for your comment Anita. We value your thoughts and will use your suggestions to explore how we can further improve the services we offer. Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  6. tony

    There is so many loop holes in the system. They raise the maximum age for social security to 67, but the SSI age of 65 remains the same. If they meet the SSI financial requirements at age 65, then they can collect SSI until they reach their maximum Social Security age of 67 and collect more money. Social Security is going broke with all these loop holes. At least the SSA is finally doing something about the spouse loop holes.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your comment, Tony. We have strict guidelines that apply to individuals receiving benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program. First of all, SSI beneficiaries are required to report their income or resources available to them. Also, we conduct “redeterminations” periodically to identify SSI recipients who –at any time- are potentially eligible for any or other Social Security benefits on their own record and the records of others (e.g., spouse’s, widow’s, or childhood disability benefits). If an SSI recipient is insured and qualifies on his or her own record for their own retirement benefit, they are required to apply at age 62. Failure to apply for additional benefits will result in suspension or termination of their SSI benefits. We hope this information is helpful.

  7. MJ

    I think it would be beneficial for those people pending SSDI to be able to see where there claim is at during the process, especially once a decision has been made and they are waiting for the award to be processed as this could add considerable time before they actually receive their award monies. Also the ability to print out letters SSA mailed to the claimant at anytime through the website. This would allow claimant’s to print their award letter any time they need to provide a copy to other government agencies or disability carriers.

    • Collyn

      Excellent idea!

    • bettyg

      ssdi process,
      CLAIMANT should have the SAME info available to them that DDS staff use in approving/DENYING our ssdi claims.

      i know when i was in this process for 5 yrs. of hell, it was NOT available to me.

      if we COULD READ specific guidelines why they are DENYING our claims, we could get the NEEDED medical documents to process our claims promptly & APPROVED.

      inflammatory ARTHRITIS involving peripheral joints may be associated with disorders such as:, 14.09, 6C, V shows LYME DISEASE but mentioned nothing more to it; NO explanations at all.

      lyme disease needs to be expanded to show ALL vector-borne diseases including:

      22+ OTHER diseases that ticks carry; examples:

      bartonella, babsiosa, erlichia, rocky mtn. spotted fever, mycloplasma, anaplasma, lonestari, bourbon virus, heartland virus, relapsing fever, borrelia myacoti, borrelia MAYONII,
      other strains of borrelia, tularemia, ENCEPHALITIS, neoehrlichiosis, morgellons, RICKETTSIA PARKERI, q fever, tacaribe virus, so-called arenavirus, XMRV, powassan virus, and others i can’t remember the names of.

      after our admin law judge hearings, a tape recording of this meeting should be PROMPTLY sent to the claimant and/or lawyer representing them.

      my 1st one wasn’t; lawyer tried to get it without success; then quit me 4 yrs. into this.

      since he NEVER RECEIVED tape, he didn’t write the requested BRIEF FOR APPEALS COUNCIL, AC.

      AC buried it for 2.5 yrs. in files, then pulled it out finally.

      since there was NO BRIEF from lawyer, they did NOT have to review my 2″ medical files attached to my claim.

      they merely had to read 1st alj’s DENIAL, and stated it was correct WITHOUT looking at my medical records stating otherwise.

      i also tried to get the tape representing myself, but DDS FAILED to provide this to me so i could attempt to write a brief for my 1st case.

      5 yrs. later, i won my 2nd representing myself.

      i used your online files as much as i could on list of adult list of impairments getting the needed numbers to match up with my extensive medical files.

      it took me 7 months to do this type of work and then typing it for 2nd for alj hearing.

      so my and the entire LYME/VECTOR-BORNE/TICK community would like to see these things addressed for our “invisible” diseases that include:

      fibromyalgia pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.

      thank you.

      bettyg, iowa Borrelia/lyme activist
      47 yrs. chronic lyme
      35 yrs. MISDIAGNOSED by 40-50 drs.

      • Mark D.

        As a Chonic Q-Fever recipient, with Endocarditis, I could not agree more. thank you

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas, MJ! We value your thoughts and suggestions as we look for ways to improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  8. H G.

    If you want to help Social Security start becoming fiscally responsible for taxpayer money. Roosevelt set up this program to help people retire and politicians and S/S staff have turned it into a welfare program. Stop the welfare!

  9. Mohamed B.

    As American citizen living abroad, I do think will be of great importance for all citizens who live abroad to have access online by allowing us to have account to make any changes for our whereabouts instead of sending letters from abroad about any changes on status. Unfortunately and till now we are not able to have account with social security because we are residing abroad. It makes a lot of sense to get accurate and fast date through secure mailbox as most of the big companies in the United States that allowed that. It is amazing that Social Security Administration allowed Direct Deposit of American citizens who live abroad in most of Europe Countries and Canada but not allowing the citizens to have account to better communicate with Social Security Administration.
    I hope you consider and thank you for your superior services to us for many years.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Mohamed. Thank you for using our blog to communicate with us! The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. For assistance related to your Social Security benefits, please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We appreciate your thoughts and will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come.

  10. jazz

    lovely wordpress clone. the federal govt didnt make this. also, fix the main site. the secure portions have been down for months. your lackeys arent doing the paperwork at local offices. how about hiring COMPETENT staff for once? typical bs govt and lowest bidder horscht. can-x the whole concept and hire COMPETENT, PROPERLY paid staff to do the job. And at least try to hide the fact that you use wordpress…..if your going to use it on a govt site…..and release your docs on the government forms site…no hiding behind proxied inter-office pussified bullocks.When I ask you to do something, i expect it done, not horscht shoved in my face. Maybe we should dock pay of those responsible, and YES, I have your names….

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