Social Security Programs Are As Diverse As Those We Serve

August 11, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 11, 2016

Large group of smiling people.From women and children, to the elderly and disabled, Social Security has you covered. Because we value and appreciate the differences that make up our nation, our programs are as diverse as those we serve. We’re with you throughout every stage of your life, and we’re always working to provide services that meet your changing needs.

Our programs serve as vital financial protection for millions of people. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits. These credits count toward retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

A program everyone should be familiar with is Social Security’s retirement program. Whether you’re a young adult paying Social Security taxes for the first time or a retiree receiving benefits, this is a program that will affect you during and after your working years. You can learn more about your earnings and potential benefits by visiting

Social Security administers the largest disability program in the nation. A severe illness or injury robs a person of the ability to work and earn a living. Thankfully, Social Security disability benefits can provide a critical source of financial support during a time of need. For more on disability benefits, visit

When a family loses a wage earner, it can be both emotionally and financially devastating. However, Social Security can help secure a family’s financial future if a loved one dies with survivor benefits. The best thing you can do for your family is prepare as much as possible: get started at

Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation — individuals with identical earnings histories and needs are treated the same in terms of benefits. We’re proud the diverse public we serve reflects the programs we offer. Visit today to see how we can serve you and secure your today and tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Dawna E.

    Is there still a program for free cell phones for the disabled. There are 3 of us that are on SSDI and SSI. Please let me know. Where to apply. What is needed. Live in Sacramento California

  2. gunsafely

    How recipients who get Social Security based on handicap fluctuate, the ramifications of these distinctions for recipients’ earnings and administration needs, and what this assorted variety implies for proposition to change the DI program and Social Security all the more comprehensively.

  3. Ssdi s.

    If your on ssdi will your spouse income affect your benefit?

    • Jenna Y.

      Thank you for your question. If you receive SSDI on your own earnings record, your spouses income will have no impact on your benefits, no matter how much money your spouse earns. Disability benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits.

  4. tammy

    Diversity does not include everyone and the Socialist Security system still uses outdated rules to justify legally discriminate against some of us. The Socialist Security system can’t even fix an outdated “RULE” that they use to justify discrimination against physically disabled people.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

  5. Retiree

    Learn all the language in the world and you’ll never have any problems when you visit each country.

  6. T. B.

    I’ve been working since age 14. Graduated HS early & was a single
    mom by age 17 determined to prove society wrong as they stereotyped me. I received my paralegal diploma within 2 years while continuing to work part-time in collage. My internship turned into a full-time job at a lawfirm working on high profile litigation cases at age 22. Then on my way to work someone ran a red light & T-boned me in my Camero leaving only 8″ from my door to the console crushing my pelvis, rupturing my spleen, lacerating my liver, breaking multiple ribs on the left side & breaking my clavicle, fracturing my skull at the left temple resulting in amnesia, traumatic brain injury w/hemorrhaging resulting in emergency exploratory surgery to remove my ruptured spleen & requiring several blood transfusions. None of my fractures could be set so they basically healed crooked. 22 y/o single mom with a 4 1/2 year old daughter fighting to survive while being told I would never walk again, hospital bound for over 3 months.
    I was back at work a year later while still in a hospital bed at my parents house as I tried to defeat the odds while using arm braces to walk while mentally having to tell myself which foot should go next (left foot, right foot). I was an OCD workaholic at various law firms determined to be the best, which I was. 18 years as a litigation paralegal I was involved in at least 4 more wrecks (none my fault but my crooked pelvis, sacrum and spine continued to get worse each year. Then, I was assaulted resulting in a 2nd TBI as I was slammed from behind face down into a concrete floor exacerbating my previous injuries in my neck & lumbar spine, as well as knocking out the top 4 teeth. I eventually went back to work at a new small firm closer to home 6 months later but gradually got worse & worse. Memory problems, unable to concentrate or complete tasks then the chronic fatigue kicked in. My neck pain, lumbar spine, sacrum, & migraines continued to get worse which was a big distraction. I had excessive daytime sleepiness & was caught sleeping sitting up at my desk. I was asked to resign 3/1/13 & 12 days later I took a sleep study test which included a day & night sleep diagnostic sleep tests & at age 37 I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. I haven’t worked since Mar. ’13. I’m fighting foreclosure to keep my house I worked so hard to have 14 years. My boyfriend had to move in to help me with bills & help me get my second daughter, 9 at the time, up in time & ready for school because 90% of the time I couldn’t wake up. I broke down & filed for SS disability in in Feb. ’14. Was denied every time, even at the hearing level after 2 SS doctors reviewed all my records & evaluted me stating I was unable to work, as did two neuro/sleep specialists I had seen, my pain mgmt. dr who had me on slow release morphine and then my psychiatrist confirming how bad my PTSD had been along with OCD, Major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, not to mention the tragedy I went through after my sister took temporary custody of my then 11 y/o due to the fact I had no income or stable housing & couldn’t take care of myself or her. SO NOW IM AT THE APPEAL LEVEL WAITING FOR MY ATTORNEY TO LEARN WHAT AGGRESSIVE MEANS AS SHE WAITS TO BE ASSIGNED AN ANALYST (I think that’s what she said). ITS BEEN 8 months since the hearing where the judge ruled against 5 drs & denied me. My attorney showed me the judge’s notes where she circled my name & wrote “young claimant under the age of 44”. So 2 years 6 months later I’ve missed out on a full year of my daughter’s life, I’m about to be homeless, my boyfriend who’s done everything to possibly help has attempted suicide twice now & almost died due to the financial hardship this has been put on me but since I have no family support he won’t leave me & my dreadful situation. CAN ANYONE HELP OR KNOW A WAY TO EXPEDITE THIS AS A DIRE NEEDS CASE? I’m borderline suicidal due to losing my identity as “the best paralegal” and then w/o notice losing my baby girl who I never get to see which takes away my identity of being a mom with s child to take care of the last 23 years. This is absolutely a horror movie & obvious age discrimination. I just turned 41 last month so do I truly have to wait until I’m 44 while I have mo insurance, no income and can’t get the MRIS my neuro requested in April as my thecal sac in my neck is being flattened and my herniations in my lumbar are impinging on a nerve root, one of which has recently caused me to loose functions and feeling causing bowel incontinence. I’ve had bladder incontinence since last June and my last brain MRI was in 2011 indicating Gliosis which is central nervous system damage which is why I need a new MRI. If that’s not enough to be approved then their is no sympathy or justice for working over 18+ years while paying my SS & Medicare. Helpless w/o hope ?

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for sharing your comment in our blog. The length of time it takes to get a hearing can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. Please visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case.

    • tammy

      The Socialist Security system does not care about individual stories, they are like robots, heartless, soul-less, incapable of making any decisions and quoting rules.

  7. kids e.

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Timothy S.

    How long will it take for ssi to realize that I did not receive ssi payments for the months of may and June of 2016 so that I can receive my SSDI payments for those two months?

    • Ray F.

      Hi Timothy. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office for further assistance in this matter. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  9. tony

    There is so many young people applying for disability because they think they know the rules and think it is easy to get. The SSA needs to set them straight. The erosion of all the unskilled sedentary occupational base doesn’t equate to a finding of disability. The lifting, sitting, standing, etc are Guidelines for Evaluating the Ability to Do Less Than a Full Range of Sedentary Work. It is not even all unskilled sedentary occupational base.

    SSR 96-9P states lifting, sitting, standing, etc significantly erode the occupational base. It doesn’t state that it erodes all the occupational base. Even if it erodes all the occupational base, it still doesn’t equate to a finding of disability.

    The SSA has been approving people who eroded less than all the unskilled sedentary occupational base.


    Using the Rules in Table No. 1 as a Framework: “Erosion” of the Occupational Base

    When there is a reduction in an individual’s exertional or nonexertional capacity so that he or she is unable to perform substantially all of the occupations administratively noticed in Table No. 1, the individual will be unable to perform the full range of sedentary work: the occupational base will be “eroded” by the additional limitations or restrictions. However, the mere inability to perform substantially all sedentary unskilled occupations does not equate with a finding of disability. There may be a number of occupations from the approximately 200 occupations administratively noticed, and jobs that exist in significant numbers, that an individual may still be able to perform even with a sedentary occupational base that has been eroded.

  10. tony

    “Social Security’s programs are neutral regarding gender, age, race, and orientation — individuals with identical earnings histories and needs are treated the same in terms of benefits.”

    Social Security disability program discriminates against people because of age. That is a bunch of BS you are trying to tell the public.

    If you have a identical earnings histories working 10 years and your disability is identical, but you are 1 year younger than the other person who is 50, then the grid rules doesn’t apply to you and you are not disabled.

    If you are 30 years old, then you have to wait 20 years before you can collect benefits with the identical earnings histories and identical disability.

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