My Reflections on Public Service

Commissioner_Carolyn_Colvin_5x7As we culminate our 80th anniversary celebration and end 2015, I find myself reflecting on our accomplishments. As part of the recognition of our 80th anniversary celebration, we asked our employees to share their stories of why they serve. A recurring theme was: I serve because I enjoy working with the public providing services that matter. Touched by this sentiment, I also looked back over my career and the reasons why I serve.

I have said many times that Social Security touches the lives of nearly everyone in this great nation, often during times of personal hardship, transition, and uncertainty. I’m not only speaking as the Acting Commissioner of Social Security but as someone who has also been on the receiving end. In several instances, Social Security provided support for members of my family.

When my brother was diagnosed with a disability, Social Security provided him the financial and medical support to live independently. Today, I am grateful my brother has a decent quality of life because of the benefits he receives and his access to healthcare. When my mother was ill in her later years, her retirement benefits, and support from our family helped to cover her living expenses and healthcare. The help she received from our agency enabled her to have a good quality of life.

I also felt the support of the SSA family when my son died at 34, leaving behind four small children. The agency embraced me in ways I cannot describe and helped me through a very difficult time in my life. Survivor benefits provided strong financial support for his children after the devastating loss of their father.

I have worked in public service for many years. Throughout my entire career, I have never seen employees provide services in a more caring and compassionate way than our employees. During my tenure as Acting Commissioner of Social Security, I have given many 30-, 40-, and 50-years of service pins to employees who dedicated their entire careers to public service. I know that these employees stayed that long because of a strong commitment to our mission.

Throughout my career, I have been drawn to serve those who have the least among us. From seeing the support my family received, to feeling passionate about helping others going through similar experiences, I cannot be more proud to have served SSA twice in my career.

Social Security is here today and will be here in the future. From retirement to disability, Social Security is there, providing benefits to children and families, and protection for the American worker. Our services matter. The work we do makes a difference in the lives of Americans, when they need it the most.

And this, I am proud to say, is why I serve.


78 thoughts on “My Reflections on Public Service

    • My grandson has received SSI benefits and it has been a lifesaver for his success in school, with special educators who were outstanding. I cannot say enough for our system of caring for those who need help…financial, medical and scholastically. Thanks for your work.

  1. My daughter was born with a congenital anomoly. She has received help. However, ws just received a letter they are terminating her benefits and we have no idea why. My 10 year old grandson has received it until this year and is under review. He has severe asthma, allergies and a deficit in motor skills with developmental delay. This is devastating as there is no way I can support the both of them with medications they both receive and only one income.

  2. Thank you for your service to Americans. We are deeply indebted to you for helping support Social Security, an appreciation most do not understand until they become retired and receive their benefits.
    The new federal retiree.

    • Social Security is not a benefit, it is something people work for and earn and put into it until retired. I do not mind helping our Veterans and Disable people who have put into it no matter how much they contribute. They EARN IT.. NOT PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WON’T TO WORK BUT HAND ME OUTS, THE LAZY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BUM OFF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, WHO ARE DESTORYING THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM FOR THE RETIREES AND VETERANS.. That also go for the welfare people and with wormen who have to many children and want us to take care of them…I hope the Government & Social Security opens their eyes up and see how they are destroying it, for everyone who EARN IT..

      • So what I am gathering from your angry statement is that stay at home mothers are lazy and if they become disabled they should not be able to draw benefits? Is this what you are saying? I would love to see you scrubbing floors and changing diapers and mowing the yard and all the other fun stuff that comes with being a stay at home mother that is not paid. The society today instead pays others to raise their children and then wonder why they have issues. I would suggest you trying for a month only to be a stay at home parent and keep the house clean, kids fed and clean, have dinner on the table and keep on with your job 24/7 a.nd never be paid. Let me know how that goes for you.

        • No, but women as well as men know what causes babies. And those who choose to have them without any regard to who or what is going to support them should know better. And then there are the ones that have children just so they can collect from the taxpayers to raise them. Sad indeed.

          • Jay Star, sadly I have to agree with your e-mail. I personally have known people who had babies just to get more money from welfare, they can afford to go to college, their rent is paid, and the college is paid for. Someone should give them birth control pills.
            Someone should also mention the constant threat by the Republicans to reduce or cancel social security, trade SS for vouchers, and god knows what else.
            Social Security and Medicare have been doing an excellent job for 80 years, and I wish the politicians would quit messing with it, or pay back the money that they took from the Social Security fund some years ago.

          • You are a great example of what’s wrong with our society. Selfish, greedy, judgmental, prejudiced, and oh, by the way, WRONG! Social Security does NOT go to “lazy bums who don’t want to work ” or the mythical “welfare” queens who people like you created in your closed, mean little minds so you’d have (another) group to spew your vile hatred on. What I’m saying is hate anyone you want as passionately as you please, but first be sure you know what you’re talking about. Ranting on about something that isn’t even true or people who don’t even exist is just plain ignorant and frsnkly, makes you look stupid. And military veterans don’t get Social Security for service related disabilities, they have VA benefits for that and it’s an entirely separate government agency that has no connection with SSA. As far as your nasty slur on women and having babies, you’re WRONG there, too – not to mention rude and again, embarrassingly stupid. Women don’t get pregnant by themselves, only another human, a MALE one, can pull that off, as you well know. Why is it that men always, always, always put women down who are mothers? Whether they work or not, older or young, white or non-white, single or widowed or married or divorced – and thousands of men walk out on their wives and kids every day. You have NO RIGHT to judge ANYONE about their decision as to becoming parrnts. NOBODY HAS BABIES DELIBERATELY JUST TO “GET MONEY” – no one, ever. If you put one brain cell into thinking about the REALITY of going through 9 grueling months of pregnancy, body changing every day, pain and nausea and all kinds of medical issues – pregnancy is actually pretty dangerous, as is childbirth for both mother and baby – but I won’t belabor the details, pun intended. The point is, women don’t go through that on a whim. Another relevant note here: the teen pregnancy rate in the US has gone DOWN dramatically in the past decade and continues to do so. You seem to have a problem with women having sex. But then that’s a typical outlook for the majority of “average” Americans who go to work, come home, watch TV, don’t read books, and get all their (incorrect, biased, and inflammatory) information about the world from hate groups or ignorant talk show hosts instead of actually bothering to seek out the facts, the truth, for themselves. Boy, I can’t even imagine a worse way to go through life than being you, wallowing in a sewer of negativity and blame and hate, ever alert for more negative news stories to add to your ever growing list of people to hate and blame for anything you don’t have or what you think (because it’s what you’ve been TOLD to think) they might have or get from government “largesse” as a “hsndout.” It’s difficult to believe that anyone in this century could believe things that are so illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and that realistically simply COULDN’T HAPPEN! I assume you’re an adult (at least chronologically), so why do you blindly believe whatever the news or politicians tell you to think without even asking yourself “is that even possible?” In fact, I think that’s exactly why you’re so angry about these things. Because you DON’T know the truth but since you’re too lazy to find out the facts for yourself you just jump on the bandwagon and join in blaming and hating whomever you’ve been told to this time even though you know it’s untrue and even impossible. I’d be unhappy too if I betrayed myself that way. Gee, now we’ve come full circle – it’s not the “lazy bums on welfare” who are the lazy ones – it’s YOU! You and all the rest of the people who accept whatever they’re told even when they know better because they CHOOSE ignorance because it’s easier than taking respon sibility for your own life. You’re angry that you’ve lost control but rather than admit that YOU GAVE IT AWAY, you just blame the women, blacks, gays, illegals, Muslims, Mexicans, “welfare” people, disabled prople and children. Wow. Sad. Thanking whatever “god” might care that I’m not you.

          • Bingo. I stopped having children short of getting the girl I always wanted because i knew what I could support on my WAGE. i have paid into social security for 41.5 years. I went to work on my 15th birthday. I was injured in May of last year and now I get run around when I know people collecting which have less disability than me….bull.

          • Those aren’t the real least in California…congratulations Shawn, you are truly a beautiful breath of fresh air! How would you like to be the mother of a lady whose daughter is dying of small cell cancer, can’t walk because of a botched knee replacement, given every excuse in the book why she doesn’t qualify for help and certainly doesn’t qualify for any help from her social security already paid. Well, I’m that mother, and I didn’t agree, and they called the guard the guard and had me thrown out of the office like a common criminal! It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t owned a business, a very busy one at that, that the biggest expense was payroll taxes. For twenty years I fed the SS dept and never even got a thank you! Corruption in this country everywhere! At least in Southern Calif! And the Child support dept? Who decided that vipers should have a free hand in running peoples lives. Not for me personally, one of my exes never paid a dime, but one of his best friends was the secretary of the Judge in Ventura County in Calif. Talk about corrupt…filthy corruption! Absolutely mind blowing what they get away with…but that’s sweet guy Jerry brown’s job, isn’t? I love Obama, but I think the poor guy was also looking the other way….

        • I don’t think she was talking about stay at home Moms, she is talking about the many women who think it’s easier to have child after child out of wedlock and then expect the state to support them. I too have a problem with those sort of women. Whether it’s SS or Welfare, it’s wrong to expect the State to support you or your children when you have not contributed to the system.

          • Are you kidding? “Easier to have child after child out of wedlock,” riiiight. You’ve obviously never gone through pregnancy and childbirth. That is FAR from easy, and NO ONE does it just to get the little pittance of financial assistance provided by the government to extremely low income persons with children. By the way, you clearly also know nothing about how “welfare” works – you’ve got the Internet; why not go to the actual US GOVERNMENT’S website and look up what you’d have to do to receive snything, what you might be eligible for and the LIMITS on how long you can receive anything -yep, it does NOT go on indefinitely, it ends after a maximum. Oh, and even if uou qualified for every program it’s NOT enough to live on. Sheesh, the complainers in this country are beyond belief.

      • you need to check your facts and find out what you are talking about. Social Security requires applicants to meet requirements and for the most part deserve what they get. No matter how good a system may be, there are always some who try to cheat. your nastiness assumes you know what you are talking about. You dpon’t!

        • Hear, hear! That’s so true. How hard is it to find out the facts before making an a$! of oneself by spreading around stuff that’s so obviously false and made up.

          • No matter what guys, this country was built with the ideals to care of our people when they need help….if there wasn’t so darn much corruption going on, stealing money from us every way that can be thought of we wouldn’t have to worry about things like that. It’s just listening the wrong negative. there are things going on in this country that would make your skin crawl! So put a little love in your heart for those who have need, because actually, not that many people get freebees….that’s just a crutch for the rich and famous thieves to use to make others look guilty for there ripping off! Just love each other!

      • I’m sorry that you are so upset, however, you seem to misunderstand what SS and what TANF is.

        SS is for retired, disabled and the children/spouse or either. For the most part, they have paid money into the SSA system. This is not, in any way, a freebie or welfare (which was discontinued 20 decades ago)

        What you are calling welfare is actually TANF. Very, very few people qualify for this. There is a 5 year maximum for an adult to receive benefits.”

        “Cash assistance benefits for the nation’s poorest families with children fell again in purchasing power in 2015 and are now at least 20 percent below their 1996 levels in 35 states and the District of Columbia, after adjusting for inflation.”

        Once the adults TANF benefits are maxed out they are not eligible to receive ‘child only’ TANF benefits.

        Where ever you are getting your information about this is lying to you. Why haven’t you checked this out for yourself?

        • SSI is the new welfare. Once the TANF runs out, they go to the psychiatrist complaining about anxiety and depression and get disability.

  3. Thank you so much for your service, it’s not said often enough but you and your hard work are greatly appreciated. I just wanted you to know how important what you do is to so many Americans.
    Thank You!

  4. Social Security works!
    Outstanding works in dealing with the most vulnerable Americans! Your hard work is noted!
    MD Maitland, Esq., Disability Lawyer.

  5. I thank you for your service to the citizens of this country. I LOVE my country and wrote a blank check to it back in 1968. I served in the U.S. Army and would do it again, if I had to, though I am 66 years old and I don’t think they would have me. haha My ONE gripe about Social Security is that COLA. It will NEVER catch up to the cost of living at 1.2% and then THIS YEAR, we get NOTHING! They say it’s because the cost of living hasn’t gone up in the past year. I’m not sure what they are looking at. They say it’s because gas prices went down. Well…that’s all and good; but the cost of living goes WAY BEYOND fuel prices. How about food, shelter, medical costs, etc etc etc? I know YOU, yourself aren’t responsible for the COLA; but those of us that have to live off of it are being cheated by our government. That is OUR money. WE put it in there over our working lives. I started working at 15 years old and had to retire at 62, due to a bout with cancer. I was lucky enough to beat it, so far; but I have several other ailments that prevent me from working. I have filed for disability and been denied…it’s still on appeal. When our so called elected officials need money for something; instead of THEM taking a cut in pay, they take it from Social Security. How can they do that legally? That is not THEIR money. I love my country; but I am so disgusted with our so called government. It is full of thieves. Sorry for taking this out on you; but I just had to say my piece. Again…thank you for YOUR service to the citizens of America.

  6. I like to give SSA office and Miss Johnson out of Beltsville Md. for the help and service that she provided for me. BIG THANK YOU

    • Very good point problem is, this country is giving our money to other countries like it’s candy! What did I ran just get…Billions? What about bring Experian, the crooks that were contracted by the Social Security, to run their cheat sheet. They aren’t even from this country. They are from the UK. 16 million I believe for their first contract! And they just settled with the Federal Trade Commission for cheating millions of people into buying the credit consumer info!!! And the idiots like Chase and Exxon Mobile are using THEM to determine whether people are credit worthy, which is another thing! Who gave the credit bureaus the power to invade and spy on everyone???And spread the info around like they had the right to!!!Have they ever heard of right to privacy???Wake up, everybody!!! All I can say is it’s a good thing I have my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help me keep my sanity! God Bless you all!

  7. I just got my SSI statement and they got my medicare payment wrong. Can I call them or do I have to write them a letter?

  8. At advice of several recommendations my friend is in need of disability benefits. She has been declined twice. We’ve been told that legal representation is required for consideration, beyond the first round. Is this true? Thank you for your support of our community.

    • Check into your local legal aid agency. They usually help with SSA denial issues. Or your local independent living services – agency that assists people with disabilities. Good luck!

  9. Many thanks to you, Ms. Colvin, and the employees at SSA. I receive Disability payments due to a mental illness that keeps me from being able to work, and it has saved my life – literally. Older folks aren’t the only ones who receive Social Security (I’m in my late 40’s), and though the disabled (especially those of us with a mental illness) are rarely mentioned as needing and benefiting from SS programs – and are largely forgotten – it is nice to know that The Big Boss “gets it”.

    Thank you for your many years of service. And I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your son.

  10. When I was severely injuried SS took great care of me. Cannot say the same for works’ comp. Long after being approved they finally approved.
    As I aged I received calls from SS telling me how to receive best benefit from my SS. Cannot say enough how good SS was to me. THANK YOU.

  11. Go tell YOUR President that he stinks for stiffing us on our COLA. This is the first year of my 20 year Disability that I am getting less than the year before!!! If Bush had done this he would have been crucified by every DemocRat in the country. But Obummmer does it and no one cares. STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Any more about your accomplishments?????????????????

    • Uhm yes please educate yourself on the government branches and see who it was that did not give us the COLA….That would be the house of representatives, NOT the President. Shake my head in shame for the lack of education.

      • SHAME on all the do-nothing Repubs in Congress. Thanks to them, NO COLA. Meanwhile, they continue to vote themselves raises for working less and one-upping their colleagues on who can hurt people the most. As it is, I wouldn’t be able to afford the rent in New Jersey on my SSI if it weren’t for Section 8. Just TRY living fully on less than $800 per month when the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is over $1,000. That’s before utilities. Food has to be whole, nutritious, free of toxins and life-sustaining. Broadband internet, these days, is a necessity, as most communication is done through it. Clothing and shoes wear out. Electronics and kitchen appliances break down after a while. Appearance has to be kept up for self esteem, in order to be socially acceptable and not to be thought of as a “bag lady.” What I’m getting might have been ok back in the 1960s, but the demands and expenses of keeping up, connected and healthy are so much greater.

  12. In a Perfect World, rules are created by different branches of Goverment, Industry, and Private Business. They are made, usually with good intentions for the people who have a need to use the service(s) they provide. And in a Perfect World, everything would work, just like it’s intended to. But being this IS NOT a Perfect World, much of the decisions and deals that are reached, are made by individual Human Beings, by their failing to consider and weigh ALL the options that exist in an issue. And by their NOT going from Point A to Point B and so forth, but SKIPPING steps that are written to follow, they jump from Point A to Point D, to Point ?, and decisions they make, all too often fail to Provide or to Prohibit, the assistance that people need. Some WORKERS, do their job responsibly, while others don’t, and it’s the needy, who suffer for it. In that Perfect World, people would know they would be treated FAIRLY. But the People who do teir jobs, in a shady manner, they collect PAY CHECKS, while those needing assistance, too often receive NOTHING.

    Social Security, in my opinion, is one of the more capably run branches of the Federal Government that exists. Yet, they too have individuals that they count on, and sadlyPoliticians play a role, in decision making.

    I’m 63 years old, and sadly come from a VERY DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILY. From my two biological families, I am the only child from them. Both remarried, 3 half-brothers and sister on HER remarriage, and one half-sister, on the other side. Yet, that means little, since I always was made to feel I was the reject of the bunch, but my getting older, a period of time I had with a COUNSELOR, finally made me realize, just how bent out of shape, I was EMOTIONALLY. It was from this assesment, the counciler helped me realize, just how WORTHLESS MY OWN SELF WORTH WAS, because of all the mannerisms I was subjected to, it made me feel WORTHLESS, and because of that, I became an individual I THOUGHT OTHERS WANTED ME TO BE, instead of being who I really am. I was living behind a mask, to hide the ugly person, I felt I was. This was almost 20 years ago, and this counciler helped me to NOW LIVE AS WHO I REALLY AM, NOT AS I THOUGHT OTHERS WANTED ME TO BE. And that has freed me, to be WHO I AM TODAY.

    But this isn’t really about me, but about Social Security. The youngest of the 3 siblings from her remarriage, was a brother. And when he was born, I was 15 1/2 years old, but the Catholic Church allowed me to be his God-Father. Out of the 4 half-siblings, he was the one I felt the closest to. In the early 2000’s, he spoke with me and told me just how badly he hated OUR BIOLOGICAL MOTHER, for all the wrongs, she had done to him. I was shocked, to learn that he DESPISED HER, more than I did. Yet, he had married someone, who was a carbon copy of her. And really suffered from it.Some months back, of this year, my youngest brother died. He was 48 years old, and I found out, because of contacts with different funeral homes, that sent me email alerts. No one tried to contact me, maybe 9 miles of distance was too far for them to call me. The Funeral Home when I called, said VERY LITTLE to me about it, except when I asked to speak to our sister, I was informed mmy brother was open for viewing, so no one was there. You ask why didn’t I call them? Simply, everyone had eventually gone from land lines to cell phones, so I had no one’s number to call. His burial I saw, was the next day, so when I called back, I was able to speak to her, and from from what she said, my brother had been dead, for some time, and since his wife was the worthless piece of trash she was, shw wasn’t living with him at the time. Add to that he was CREMATED, the very first person in the family to have that done, I was stunned. She told little more, except no use my going see his ashes, he’d be soon buried. I contacted the Coroners Office, and was told that no autopsy had been done, but a toxicology was ordered, but unless my name was on his Death Certificate, I had to get the results from someone who was on it. I paid over $20 to the state FOR HIS DEATH cERTIFICATE, and when I got it, I saw nothing that would help explain what had happened to him. I knew this was a POWER PLAY by his wife and our biological mother, to prevent me from finding out something, they wanted to hide. I called Social Security, gave them all the indo I could, even his SS number, and asked them if I could find out what his wife had told Social Security, and what benefits she was getting. The worker said I could go into an area Social Security Office, and have with me proof of who I was, and how he and I were related. That said, the woman tossed at me, that his wife WAS ENTITLED to certain benefits, and I answered back, that I knew that, and whatever the law states as to what benefits she can have, I don’t want to stop her from getting it. What I want to stop, is her getting benefits from LIES she told, and that soon, I would go, and see what I can find out.

    As I said, Social Security is a very good branch of US Government, but even they can be fooled, and I just want to make sure, his wife isn’t doing that. I may one day learn, the whole story of what happened to my brother, and maybe it’d be better, that I don’t. This is my ng with Social Security, for him, and I hope all my fears, are baseless. With that… God Bless.

  13. Thank you for your many years of caring service. The system has made a way for many of us during very trying times.

    I have a concern however, and it is personal. I worked in a state education system that paid into Social Security and the district into a retirement system, as well. We relocated to another state that has the WEP ( penalty) in place. I received an annual statement estimating my monthly benefit if I should retire, based on the income I earned while paying into the system.

    I retired from education last year and after my Medicare payment is taken out, my Social Security benefit is reduced to under $400.00. I’m not asking for anything I didn’t work for, I’m just asking for what I earned. Isn’t there a provision that can be put in place for folks like me to receive the benefits the earned paying into the system; rather than having them reduced (arbitrarily taken) by about 45%?

    Please help. It limits or will limit the amount of good workers engaging employment in certain states and professions, when they understand how ithe WEP can affect their eventual financial bottom line.

    • If a person is paid more than they were entitled to, the agency is required by law to recover the overpayment. Neither individual Social Security employees nor the Commissioner have anything to do with that; it’s a matter of law. If you get money you were not due, it must be paid back. Look at it this way, if for some reason your bank made a mistake and sent you too much money, would you be allowed to keep it? Of course not.

    • Yes, there is a system by which you benefits will not be reduced “arbitrarily.” First, I note, this is NOT an arbitrary reduction, you are paying for health insurance.

      Second, if you don’t want money for Medicare deducted from your SS benefits, don’t use Medicare. The private health insurance market is quite robust and competitive. You may find a cheaper option there. Alternately, you can decide to forego health insurance altogether. Although that would result in a tax penalty.

  14. Thank you for the job you do! I understand totally. My ex-husband was severely injured in a motorcycle accident. I did not have any means at the time to support my daughter. I was very thankful for the benefits she received.

  15. You aren’t serving me. I have been trying to find out why you took an over payment and joe you arrived at what I received for nearly a year now. I have not even gotten an acknowledgement of my request.

  16. Thank you for your dedication to the agency I also hold dear and for pointing out how it helped so many of your own family. I proudly served with SSA for 32-years, ending my career as District Manager in Fort Smith, Arkansas. As a traveling field representative and on into my management career, I often worked long hours, met with and spoke to groups at night and on Sunday afternoons, but my greatest memories are of those I helped in their times of greatest distress and need. My career was not only very gratifying but also very interesting. I know of no job that compares with working with SSA and serving the great people of this nation. I’m currently writing a book about my career with SSA, which–when finished and published–will be called “The Vicissitudes of Life: Memoirs Of A Social Security Man.” Many times during my career I was called “The Social Security Man,” and it’s a title I bore proudly. Again, thank you for your service.

  17. I was put on disability for Cronic Migraines , and diagnoses by 3 Specialists with Cat-Scans. My husband has passed away in the year of 2001. I still have these terrible Migraines. Now the Medication they have me on is so high I’m having problems getting it. I can only take the BRAND NAME BY MY DOCTOR. Can you help me?

  18. Again I write, on the subject of my wife having been injured on a job. Her task was to assist a semi-bed ridden senior client from prone positions in bed or recliner. Also to assist in daily health care, Bathing feeding, exercise etc.

    During an assist of a patient my wife injured her back. There were two other management employees present and observing who did not make any attempt to help my wife help her patient and in the process my wife hurt her back.

    The organization sent her to an aid station where a “Fly In” doctor examined her and prescribed minimum post accident care. Then he left to return to his home state in S, Carolina. One State away from our N. Florida location. What is wrong with using local physicians?

    My wife was released after voodoo medicine by the fly-by-day (to see his only patient at the time = my wife) and disappeared into the whereabouts we do not know where. And damn well do not care to see again

    There was no contact during the :recuperation with the flying doc duck.

    My wife still suffers with back pain,

    My wife can not get a job when the prospects see the “Have you ever been injured on the job? .. answer Yes!
    Try as we may no one gives a crap about one injured employee who cant get a job.

    I guess it’s time we find a lawyer who will sue.

    What advice does SSA have for us?

  19. Commissioner Colvin,
    I am moved by your story but very upset by the reality of how SSA is turning it’s back on the most vulnerable members of our society. As a disability lawyer for more than 30 years, I am appalled at the record high unfavorable ALJ decisions which are apparently the result of political pressure your office has succumbed to in the last few years. I am heartbroken for the sick who have lost their ability to work while the government who took a large portion of their income during their years of good health now deserts them in their time of need. Shame on SSA and Congress.

  20. Every government employee knows about the massive corruption and waste of tax dollars, but of course rarely say anything if they want to keep their job!
    Whistleblowers are Punished!!

  21. am happy to read yours i hold green
    card pr to travel for USA .but since 15/12/2015 no response from ( consular Colombo @ )
    from mr athul keshab of ambassador for sri lanka and maldives yet and pending by officers
    i too a on line working for odni sevrices
    i am happy to be a american who still in sri lanka vworking for usa +world wide americans
    i too active organiation for action for mr barak obama work help suporter for usa generation
    member for national institute of justice ,fbi ,odni daily forwarding updates by email
    yes of course i was seured by fbi/odni/nij and happy to all commiuniation
    being a us citisen happy life time but please ake as soon as possible my visa release by embassy srilanka .i too appeal under unhrc hrc act of civil
    rights .
    i am 90% happy about all usa and 2% is pending my process and all small things but higher imporatnt things in complete for me .how ever social security is 99% happy by me beause of us official work from srilanka .
    this is private& confidential by human rights love u all by a man kind being human world wide
    wish u all happy & prosperous new year 2016
    fbi/usa member on line
    universal time 04.57am

  22. It is easy to catch a bunch of those fraudsters. I see them all the time. Valuable resources is wasted following one suspected person all day and they might not even come out of the house. Just surveillance the shopping center parking lot for people who park in the handicapped parking space. Take down their license plate and follow them. If they don’t look disabled then there is justifiable reason to run their tag. I see there people get out of their car, push around the shopping cart, and carry these heavy bags. There is so many of these fakers.

    • Tony, are you a doctor? Do you have their medical history in front of you?

      How do you now they don’t have Cancer, AIDS, or something that is not so obvious on the outside?

      Go get an education before you post ignorant responses!

      • Why don’t you get an education before you post ignorant response.

        Handicapped parking are for people who are severely mobility impaired. You can actually see it on the outside because they can’t get around.

        • You are WRONG again. A person with a neurological illness or perhaps has had a stroke are also disabled AND “mobility impaired,” and no, you cannot see it. You are not a doctor and it’s not up to you to decide whether or not anyone is “disabled” enough to use a handicapped parking space. What’s it to you, anyway? I know its definitely not about standing up for handicapped people because of your attitude about who is or isn’t disabled. I have a fantasy wish that every person who says someone shouldn’t use a handicapped parking spot because they “don’t look disabled to me” would immediately be stricken with the exact same disability as the person they think isn’t disabled. Let’s see how they feel about who’s disabled or not then. Of course, in the fantasy wish you can have the handicapped parking tag – if it’s that important to you. How sad that there are people so petty and mean-spirited (on top of ignorant) that they would resent and envy a DISABLED PERSON getting a closer parking spot. What is wrong with people? !

          • This isn’t about the parking space. It is about people collecting social security disability who are not disabled. They need to be caught.

  23. Social Security is full of reverse discrimination. I am neither Black nor White unlike the late King of Pop (grab crotch and go “tee hee hee, and say chime on!”

    I was diagnosed with a mental illness after serving the US Navy with an honorable discharge according to my DD-214 and since the year 2001, the Social Security Administration has denied me benefits.

    During my service in the US military, I have been hospitalized due to a medical malpractice that they covered up by being given the wrong medication by a corpsman, the “medic” of the US Navy. A medical doctor at the time in the US Navy confirmed that it was the wrong medication used.

    I was finally honorably discharged, and left with nothing. I got nothing when I applied for SSI Disability through the Social Security Administration.

    What you don’t know is: in America, it’s all about power. And the ones who have any political clout would be either black people or white people. Since I am neither, no one would help me. It’s either discrimination or reverse discrimination in America and people like me are stuck in the middle like a child between a couple of divorced parents.

    Who is the real victim?

  24. Its fairly stunning that SS even allows comments. I’m not sure a comments section on the internet has ever resulted in something positive or productive.

    • Boy, you got that right. The only thing Internet comments sections display is the appalling number of nasty, rude, ignorant, ungrateful people out there who apparently have nothing better to do than hate everything and everyone else in the world and aren’t ashamed to display their ignorance and hate.

  25. I have to problems.
    1. I have been trying over a year to get Social Security to change my fiancees’ Social Security card, because his birth certificate is not matching his card. I have tried two months of getting it fixed and it came back undone.
    2. I do not understand why it is a rule or regulation, that even if two people that are receiving disability, get $300.00 taken away from them when they get married, that doesn’t make sense especially when one is in a wheelchair, and the other is mentally disabled. No one is working. Our economy is pretty high in the food department, and making it harder to get.

    Each time I do talk to a rep., they seem to have a nasty attitude of not wanting to help or impatient.

  26. I, too, would like to thank you, and the rest of your fellow workers. While it seems that most issues go rather smoothly (that there is a flow to what is happening) it can’t be easy to have a highly emotional person in front of you demanding answers RIGHT NOW/

    Also, when my Dad was dying from emphysema my Brother and Sister took our Dad’s medical files to the local SS office, along with his notarized POA. After going through his file, they approved his application immediately. One of the very few times that I have ever heard of this being done. But we did the correct things, and brought the correct things, before the office visit.

    That was 16 years ago. He died about 1 year later. Thank you.

  27. I am thankful that SS was there as I spent my life “making other people money” and forgot to take care of my earned money for old age. SS is MY and MY employer’s money’s put away with INTEREST but I EARNED IT. I will never see all of it nor will many others. The GOVERNMENT has squandered it like IT was THEIRS LIKE A PONZI SCHEME.

  28. While I know and understand there are cheaters out there.I think it is criminal to make an applicant for SS disability appeal 3, 4 or more times, often waiting 18 months between hearings. Then after years of hardship, their claim is approved.

  29. All public servants in SSA should be applauded. As you can see from many of the comments here, it is a difficult job that always has constant attention from the public, financial industry, politics, media, etc. Everyone has their own point of view on the SSA programs, but we should be able to agree that the men and women who devote their lives to making it work better should be thanked. If we want social programs to work better, we need great leaders and great employees dedicated to public service.

  30. Who ever it was that made sure there was no cost of living increase this year should take a cost of living decrease as the people that survive on SSD. After I was notified that there wouldn’t be a c o l increase this year the renew cost on the same part “D” I had last year was doubled and now have $300+ deductible on the policy. Last year there wasn’t a deductible on same policy. My rent increased on the first and I’ve had other necessities increase also. The cost of living is and apparently will continue to increase! Yet we were denied the same! Wake up and smell the facts SS,because just because SS states the economy hasn’t increased there obviously has been increases. Now many are doing without because of this!

  31. My SS check has been diverted to fraudsters accounts two times! each time required me to go to the local SS office in Perrine Fl. What a fiasco the office is! each clerk is behind bars and the noise level in the background (mostly Spanish) is deafening! the security guard is forced to scream to get people to quiet down.
    the worst part is after spending two entire days in this horrible environment and despite talking to a supervisor my checks are now suspended (due to error in Perrine SS) and I have not received 2 checks in a row. I have waited the 15 days (now in the second 15 day wait) and NO RESOLUTION! I have worked since age 13 and thank God I am still working (age 69) or I would be in an even more frustrating situation!

  32. In 2011 I applied for disability benefits. I was approved BUT WAS NEVER TOLD by the hospital where I was recovering.

    In 2016 I applied for retirement benefits and was told that the SSA would first have to process my disability benefits. I was shocked.

    Now, the SSA owes me approximately Fifty-Four Thousand Dollars ($54,000) in unpaid back payments and they’re doing everything they can NOT to pay me.

    Certified letters to the case manager have mysteriously disappeared. The same case manager has refused to answer any of the written questions that were sent to her regarding my case.

    Right now I am forced to live off my savings. They are simply hoping that I will run out of money and die so that they can keep my money.

    The SSA is worse than the Mafia! Yes, the Mafia extorts money – but so does the government. However, if you hit the number or your team wins, the Mafia bookie pays off. The government seldom does; and only after an extraordinarily long wait.

  33. I cannot believe how long it is taking to get my money since my approval. This is not a handout, I’ve paid into social security all my life. It took almost 3 years to get a hearing which was favorable. Now its been more than 6 weeks and still no payment. How long do they think we can wait. Losing utilities, no money for anything essential. This wait is ridiculously long. They seem to have time for social media but no time or enough employees to get us paid. I find it to be terrible that Americans are put through this trauma of waiting. Shame on Social Security. They have no problem or delay taking your money, just paying you what is owed to you. Horrible injustice.

    • We are sorry for the inconveniences Cheryl. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the high volume of pending cases in our payment centers. Please continue working with your local office in this matter. For specific questions about your situation, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  34. After enrolling in Medicare part A and B I have received a letter from my local SSA that makes no sense to me. On top of it I am asked to and I quote: “Please have your employer complete the enclosed form and return it to Social Security in the enclosed envelope by December 23, 2017”. The letter arrived at my door on December 18, 2017 without any form nor enclosed envelope inside and I am asked to respond by December 23, 2017 or my premium will be increased. Is this a trick to make me pay more? When I tried to call 1-800-772-1213 I was told by the recorded voice that SSA was busy and to call again later. When I called my local SS office at 1-866-328-1254 my phone call was rerouted to the National SSA number that was 1-800-772-1223 and I was at it again. How can a person make sense out of that I have no idea. The system is supposed to help not to confuse.
    I am extremely disappointed.

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