General, Online Services, Retirement, Survivors

Social Security Celebrates Black History Month

February 6, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

little girl hugging womanThroughout the month of February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over a century.

Our great nation is rich in diversity. Honoring our shared history and reflecting on the past is one way we can honor America’s legacy of freedom. Another shared belief is that we all deserve a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship. Our website, people like me, honors the many faces that compose the American melting-pot. It reiterates Social Security’s commitment to our diverse American population and is part of our pledge: securing today and tomorrow.

Social Security has the tools to help you plan for your retirement and to apply for benefits online. We also provide disability benefits to individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from working. If the disabled individual has dependent family members, they can also receive payments.

If you or anyone you know is disabled, they may qualify for disability benefits. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age. You can see if you meet our strict definition of disabled and apply for disability benefits.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. You can learn more by visiting Social Security survivors benefits.

Honoring each other begins with fair and equal treatment. Social Security guarantees that, if you pay into the system, you will have the same benefits as everyone else according to your earnings record. This Black History Month, we want to make sure our diverse nation is covered and that no one is left out of the benefits they deserve. We are with you through life’s journey. Get to know your Social Security. Visit people like me and learn more about how Social Security benefits African Americans and other diverse groups.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Catalina L.

    My grandma died and I had to bury her my grandfather was dead and I was the next to kin. I want to know can I apply for the burial expense of 250.00 to help with the cost. I sign the death certificate.

    • Chris

      I am so sorry for your loss Catalina. Years ago the funeral homes got to receive the lump sum death payment. Now only a surviving spouse of a disabled adult child eligible on the numberholders record can. The funeral home may be able to make arrangements for you or try Aging Services in your area as there may be a way from local agencies that may be able to help you.

    • Ray F.

      We are sorry for your loss Catalina. Generally, the Lump-Sum Death Payment, is payable to the surviving spouse or child of the deceased.

  2. Bob

    Thats true Ricky I agree with you. you are a great guy.

  3. ricky

    Well.I get tired of this poor me black want to be, Just t be a normal American Like my white self. I don’t have irish or indian American on on anything that I fill out. why is their a african American, can’t we just all be American. we all bleed red, why do Blacks want so many special things. Whites don’t ask for white TV channels,magizines,months,beauty pagents,etc just for whites, that would be wrong, i’m just confused, why do I get discrimenated and my kids and family just because were white labeled,.Your free to do what you want just like me almost,

  4. Hattie H.

    My name is Hattie H. Thompson Small. I and a native of Rock Hill, S.C. where I spent a portion of my weary life working in the hot fields of many kind. After I graduated from high school in Rock Hill, I then moved to Washington, D.C. in search for a better life. I was very successful at being able to find myself a job right away. I would work during the day and would attend at night, which was really hard. My father deceased after suffering a heart attack, before we moved to Washington, D.C. After our move to Washington, D.C. for quite a long time I was the only one in my family who had been successful at finding work right away. I found a job as a maid working at Providence Hospital in South East, Washington, D.C. For a total of about 30 + years I worked with several Federal Government agencies throughout Washington, DC Metropolitan areas. Some of these agencies were: US Department of Education, US Naval Weapons Plant, US Civil Service Commission, US Department of Commerce and The American Association for Retired Persons. I suffered a major stroke in 1994 and since that long time I’ve been trying to get help.


  5. Peter W.

    Had I been born black than it very obvious I would be celebrating, but since I am white there’s no way I should be celebrating.

  6. Hospitals &.

    The President has just one more day to submit the budget contents to Congress in a timely fashion under 31USC§1105 and Art. 2 Sec. 3 of the US Constitution. I have even put in as many page numbers as are allowed by modern hyperlink technical defect for the computer phobic 70 year old failure to pay legal child support obligations. The actual federal budget –

    Sanders, Tony J. Part I White House Office of Management and Budget. Title X State of the Union. Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017.

    • John

      Hospitals or Asylums, pick one or the other and go there

    • James

      WELCOME PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP. The new administration will put our Country on the right path.

  7. Hospitals &.

    I watched a movie about James Brown, the inventor of funk music. When Martin Luther King Jr. was killed he was scheduled to play in Boston where there was a lot of racial violence in response to the assassination. City Council begged James Brown to play to keep the peace and he did. Then, for a short while, he became a very inspired civil rights ambassador for the King estate, most memorably on the topic of “black ownership” and to negotiate an end to the Watt’s riot…Sullivan v. New York Times (1964)

    The Commander-in-chief needs to learn to account for the military instead of promising them growth denied to the civilian government. There were years during the Obama administration when there were no work related fatalities in the entire Department of Defense. Trump already has one dead commando on his permanent record for 2017. The military action he authorized in Yemen was without authorization by the UN Security Council indicating Trump is not in command of the ten commandments. Trump’s recent slew of executive orders was filled with grunts offending the Geneva Conventions regarding repatriation of prisoners of (crime and false arrest???) war Art. 118 of the Third Convention, collective punishment Art. 33 Fourth Convention, etc.

    It is also American Heart Month and Trump needs to learn how a civilian President should behave as Commander-in-Chief under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or the fascist will break our liberal hearts, waste our time, corrupt our soldiers and owe the civilian casualties of his low brow Marine coup compensation. The diplomatic way to command the United States armed forces is to abolish the Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) column from the DoD and State Department budgets. As to whether or not this saves money like the Obama administration predicted in a sabotage-like military spending reduction for FY 2018 is a matter for 2.5% agency spending growth to the labor budget = % raise + % employment growth. Big raise, 2.5% for the civilian employees with zero employment growth FY 2017. The Secretaries of Defense and State only have to abolish the OCO accounting column. There does need to be an immediate answer to the question as to whether and how much of the OCO spending was fictitious duplicate accounting? The command is for agency budget officers to abolish the OCO column in the State and Defense Budgets.

    If Trump wants to make America militarily secure he needs to act like a civilian President in command of the ten commandments, like Dr. King’s court suggests in Sullivan v. New York Times (1964), not the contemptuous war crime convict of the Generals of the United Nations (GUN). The civilian has a duty to be elected Secretary of the UN (SUN) to be diplomatically disarming regarding the privileges of the US President with the Queen at Anthony’s picnic. If the President wants to be able to stay within the realm of legal speech regarding the customs of the military and public health departments he must change the name of the departments to US Customs, Military Department (MD) and Public Health Department (PHD) with a $1 trillion spending limit until about 2020, otherwise he needs to learn to hold his tongue while violently struggling with the intellectual disability of the Democratic-Republican (DR) two party system accounted for by HA.

    Sanders, Tony J. Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017. Hospitals & Asylums HA-1-1-17

    • ARA

      As usual you ramble on and on and have no clue. Rational thought escapes you.

    • Marcel

      In one brief, concise sentence; what is your point???

  8. Marcel


  9. Sonia /.

    Today, I have done for something necessary for you .
    I hope now I received my payment normal. Thank you!

    Sonia Lee

  10. G

    When are we going to have WHITE History Month???

    • Al B.

      The word “BLACK” refers to the African Slaves brought to America and their journey to freedom and not to the color black. True the same was for many nationalities such as the Chinese, Poles, Hungarians etc. It is the diversity of the nations that makes us great not the color.

      • Marcel

        I could really get into Hungarian History Month or Swiss History Month…………..

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