Honoring the Beneficiaries of Social Security

October 26, 2017 • By

Last Updated: October 26, 2017

woman wearing glasses Social Security is committed to the principles and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which improves the lives of our beneficiaries and our employees who have disabilities.

We also want you to see and hear from the people who rely on Social Security disability benefits to thrive as active members of our communities. Our Faces and Facts of Disability website highlights the real life stories of people who have disabilities.

One person we are featuring on our Faces and Facts of Disability website is Lynne Parks. She is an artist from Baltimore, Maryland. First diagnosed with metastatic fibrosarcoma at age 14, she has lived with this illness for nearly 35 years. It started in her face and moved to different parts of her body, including her abdomen and leg. She also has various tumors on her shoulder and arm.

Inflammatory responses, infections, and new tumors are complications that Lynne deals with every day. “Because of the tumors, I have limited use of my left arm,” Lynne said. “I have weakness in my legs. There’s fatigue because my immune system has taken such a big hit from the cancer and the cancer treatments. I get sick all the time. There might be a day that I can be at home and resting and I’ll try to make the best of it. I’ll wake up, fix breakfast and eat, and that takes a while because of my physical limitations, but also because of my first tumor that was in my face.”

Having been helped by Social Security, Lynne tries to help others. “I’m also helping people who have issues learn to cope with them, because they see in me someone as a role model, essentially. Life without Social Security benefits, it’s a horror story, because I imagine myself on the streets.”

The disability benefits Lynne receives are a crucial resource for her quality of life. Our disability programs continue to be a mainstay in the lives of many people — people just like you. Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired people in the country. It’s something that can happen to anyone.

We invite you to learn the facts about the disability insurance program, and see and hear these stories of hardship and perseverance at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. ROBERT H.

    I was wondering why I am not able to receive any of my Late my wife’s SSDI beneficts ? She passed away on April , 9 2017 ; now I was making more than her on SSDI does that make a different ?

    • Ray F.

      We are sorry for your loss, Robert. While it is possible for a person to be eligible to Social Security benefits on different records at the same time (your own, widower benefits), we can only pay the highest benefit amount that person is eligible to receive.
      For those already receiving retirement benefits, you can only apply for benefits as a widow or widower if the retirement benefit you receive is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor. We hope this information helps!

  2. Cynthia

    My daughter currently receives part of her father’s retirement. She’s currently working but her income has dropped far below the retirement she receives from her father. It is becoming a financial and mental strain on her. She was getting SSI before she started working. I want to know if she can return back to SSI if she no longer works. She has been disabled since before the age of 5.

    • Ray F.

      She may have to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits again. SSI recipients whose benefits were suspended for 12 consecutive months or longer, must reapply for SSI and again be approved.
      To see if she is eligible, she will need to speak with a Social Security representative at the local office. She can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  3. Paula C.

    I commend all the countless efforts to strive for those that live with challenges and constraints that most Americans neglect and take for granted. I do not yet receive anything yet, but I’ve learned to put my faith in patience. The impact of being isolated is in itself disabling. You think your doing great being established with good credit, nest empty so be constructive further your education to move out from current work umbrella because no room to grow, yet to be struck at a yearly Wellness exam Your sick, let’s schedule a multitude of Specialists and not give you a reason why for an entire year of visits and still not a peep nor treatment but one diagnosis after another, but here’s your AVS see you next follow up. Incyte Voices of MPN has taught us to put your nose in your business as acting Advocates in one hand, zero family support saying your a hypercondriate stop looking at Google and stayed away the entire duration, not even a call except Dad. I would not be here had I listened to the unsupportive old school folks. Close to 2017 year end, thinking there is light soon, received a letter from Baptist East Health of a phishing email attack and yes all my info including finances, ID, ECT impacted so numerous calls to officials, making appeals, complaints of the constraints of care impacted on my chart, I transferred to Norton Network, emails later, the most vital information unveils my EGD path rpt, ..because I dissected my chart referring and quoting Medlineplus or NIH,NLM etc and still to this day, my shared Drop box with registered Gov healthcare kept me consumed trying to convince the connected world the correlation tied to my chart, I now speak in circles it’s so much to digest all in one. I hope to have the privelegde to be someone’s advocate as it is meant to be.
    As I read about the extraordinary implementation of efforts of various affiliated health organizations unite together to ensure quality of care through CMS Telehealth EHR, PubMed, CDC, Chronic Care Mgmt market and the countless hours taking away from their own families is absolutely remarkable. Each and every Health Avenue has especially shown Real Time when those of us felt despaired during transitions of 2017 Health Reform. I personally can confirm numerous KY Specialists trying to manage their added patient list and be proactive of communication restructure, education and guidance despite the frustrated frowns they see each day. Not leaving out a thank you for implementation of new locations for patients as a “one Stop shop” facility to be treated for multiple illness. I hear As Great as your weekly trip to Wal-Mart. It only requires just one happy caring human to exchange the domino effect down the line and not just to consumer evolve, but to see that one smile shine because you cared enough to make a difference in the end. may your day be fullfilled with many Thanks to ALL from Louisville KY.

  4. Anonymous

    I’m supposed to be able to sue for your opening up an SSD case without my consent – or without a release, doctor’s examination, or anything signed by me.

    You’ve allowed three former representative payee’s to misuse my funds (the last actually stole them), and you don’t do anything about it.

  5. Shirlene P.

    My name is Shirlene Perry, Birmingham Alabama 35212.
    I need help with disability benefits. I have been fighting with this since August 2014. I am diagnosised with the following:

    1.Cervical radiculopathy Mva
    2. Systemic LUPUS Erythematosus
    3.Muscle spasms of head,neck and back Mva
    4. Complex Regional Paint Syndrome Mva
    5. Edema Mva
    6. Norbid obesity
    7. Peripheral neuropathy Mva
    8. Hypertensive disorder Mva
    9. Recurrent severe depression/PTSD Mva
    10. Migraine Mva
    11. Hyperlipidemia
    12. Writer’s cramp
    13. Blackouts Mva
    14. Dermatitis
    15. Memory impairment Mva
    16. Benign neoplasm of fibrous
    17. Chronic Mysofascial Paint Mva

    I recently was denied by a judge reeves in May 2017. I wrote in to appeals council in Baltimore Maryland to complain and Birmingham, Alabama office. They sent me right back in front of that same judge February 27, 2018. I received the exact paperwork before my hearing on May 30, 2016, that stated my medical records information has been updated up to December 2015. I gave staff member, Mr Randy my copies for the year 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 up to that month. He made copies for the judge before I even went in before the judge. I offered my copies to the judge when he alleged he didn’t have them and he refused my copies in May 2017. I am doing my part according to the list of requirements. When will someone produce due process according to services, procedures and duties listed in their handbooks, sworn oaths, online and written statements for policy rendered by signed or read sheets? I just received another cd and letter concerning medical information that was NEVER addressed before. This is the worst case of continued discrimination and it seems as though no matter how many people I write to, justice is NOT sought for me.

  6. nancy c.

    I did not recieve a 1099 statement

  7. Laurie

    Hello, I can not find the rule i was told when I was approved for ssdi on my own work record at age 50 that if my spouse were to become disabled that i would be able to receive benefit from his work record because the benefit is more than on mine. Keep in mind his age at disability approval is 54 i am now 53 we have no minor children nor disabled children. Is this true and when would that become effective? Thank you for a response.

  8. Yugank K.

  9. Cynthia A.

    My mother died in June 2017
    Was we suppose to get 255.00 for burial? We never seen this where did it go? MY MOTHER WAS. Kitty FayeJeffers. Deceased 6/13/2017

    • Jenna Y.

      We are very sorry for your loss. You can only apply for the Lump Sum Death Payment by scheduling a phone appointment or in-office visit at your local Social Security office. You can call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

      An application for the Lump-Sum death payment must be submitted within two years of the insured person’s death. In addition, eligible family members may be able to receive monthly Survivor benefits. For more information on this, please read our publication “How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies.” Hope this helps.

  10. Kathleen M.

    It is hard for people in Minnesota to be able to stay on the extra help for your medical expenses when you are not able to work because of your medical issues such as I have that keep you from working. Once I received the inheritance money from my Mother when she died in 2016, Iwas off of the help from Medicaid for too much money. Most of the money from my Mother is invested where I am not using any of that money. County funds get cut back because of all of the above as well. I am now 66yrs .old and affordable apartment to live in are becoming more and more expensive to afford to live anywhere here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. We need to let Seniors here have a right to affordable housing even if they have inherited money that puts them above the$$$ level.

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