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Social Security Serves People Like You: Veterans, Women, LGBTQ+, and More

August 11, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: August 10, 2022

LGBTQ family timeWe have provided vital benefits and services to hard working Americans for nearly 90 years. America has an increasingly diverse population with a variety of needs. To meet those diverse needs, we’ve created webpages that speak directly to groups of people who may need information about our programs and services.

Veterans

We proudly serve wounded warriors and veterans who sacrificed to preserve our treasured American freedoms. Many veterans do not know they might be eligible for disability benefits from Social Security.

Women

Social Security plays an important role in providing economic security for women. A woman who is 65 years old today can expect to live, on average, another two decades.  Since women have longer life expectancies than men, they typically live more years in retirement and have a greater risk of exhausting their sources of income. Women also tend to have lower lifetime earnings than men, which usually means they’ll receive lower benefits. These are just a few reasons why women need to plan early and wisely for retirement. We’re here to make sure women have the information they need to plan for those golden years.

LGBTQ+

Our agency touches the life of every American, both directly and indirectly. Our commitment extends to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people covered by Social Security’s many programs and services.

Check out even more of our People Like Me webpages. Please share them on social media and with friends and family!


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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Acting Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

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  1. Darcey

    I am a military retiree. How do I know if my active duty military time has been added to my benefit estimate? I realize it says it has automatically been added but it also says sometimes military time hasn’t been added and I should check to make sure. (If you were on active duty from 1978 through 2001, for every $300 in active duty basic pay, you’re credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year.) [Since 1988, inactive duty service in the armed forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by us.] How do I check to see if this military credit is added since my sources of income are not detailed in the information I am able to access?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Darcey. Thanks for visiting our blog. If you were in the active military service from 1957 through 1967, special extra earnings are added to your earnings record when you apply for Social Security benefits. If your active duty was after 1967, the extra earnings are already on your record. There are no special extra earnings credits for military service after 2001. For more information, please visit our Retirement Planner. For additional specific questions about your benefits, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

       

       

      Reply
  2. Dee D.

    Good afternoon,
    I am 4 years older than my husband. My husband has had a much higher income than I have. I have read the reference material but I am still unsure of what is my best option. Would it be unwise to apply for my benefits at 62? What are my options to collect on my spouse’s since he is younger, if that is possible? I would appreciate your advice. Thank you

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dee Dee. Thanks for visiting our blog. Please bear in mind that the decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Keep in mind that if you qualify for your own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. For more information, please visit our Benefits Planner. We hope this helps. 

      Reply
  3. DoHomework

    45476954748

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth T.

    I was engaged and living with my significant other for 15 years. He was recently retired and received social security retirement benefits. He died in 2020 during Covid. I can’t make ends meet without him. Am I eligible to receive any of his benefits since we were common law married? We also had a son together but he died at birth. Please help me understand if I can get any kind of help. Thank you

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Elizabeth. We are sorry to hear about your loss and situation. Social Security follows the state laws regarding common-law marriages. So, check the laws in your state. To get survivors or spouses benefits you generally must live in a state that recognizes common-law marriage. However, most states (even those that do not recognize in-state common-law marriage) will recognize a common-law marriage entered into in another state that does. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To discuss your specific situation, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. In additiona, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Bea

    I’m 81 and can,t make ends meet with my husband $1400/$661.Can I get my husband that pass years ago a never got his Social Security benefits.?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bea. We are sorry to hear about your situation. If you remarried after you reached age 60 (age 50 if you have a disability), your remarriage would not affect your potential eligibility for survivors benefits. For more information, please visit our Survivors Planner page. If you have additional questions, please contact your local Social Security office. In the meantime, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Eugene M.

    I am a retired as well as a VA disabled veteran currently receiving Social Security. My spouse is turning 65 in December and what are our benefit eligibilities, veteran-wise, for the both of us. She is already receiving widows benefits. Any info where to get info or whatever you can provide

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Eugene. Thanks for visiting our blog. It sounds like you and your spouse are currently receiving Social Security benefits and want to know about possible veterans benefits. If so, you should contact the Veterans Administration. You can also call them at 1-800-698-2411. We hope this helps. 

      Reply
      • Tony d.

        Only myself tony d truong troicaolenh troicaolenh 05 and. 07@yahoo.com
        7252611776
        I did. Not applying anything or receiving grants funds government, please help verify 8070 w Russell rd 1065 Las Vegas Nv 89113 thank you

        Reply
        • Ann C.

          Hi, Tony. Thanks for visiting our blog. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We respond to questions and provide general information on our Retirement, Survivors, Disability, Medicare and SSI programs. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. Thanks, again.

          Reply
  7. Pat K.

    I am a divorcee. I married the same man twice. The first time was 8 years and 4 months. The second time was 9 years and 6 months. I have been single for 29 years. My x-husband is deceased and eventhough we were married a total of 17 years and 10 months the marriages cannot be combined because we did not remarry within 12 months of our divorce. There was no one else to claim from his benefits. I am 73 years old and would like to know if the policy could be changed in any way to make this fair.

    Reply
  8. Bell H.

    Social security is the key element of healthy life in the social meaning. One of the issues I am worried about is gender inequality (here https://edubirdie.com/examples/gender-equality/ you can read more on the topic). I think that all people have different needs, but the system and society is not that open to the new rules.

    Reply
    • linda c.

      am disable my husband is veterans i entitle to income living spouse

      Reply
      • Ann C.

        Hi, Linda. Thanks for visiting our blog. It sounds like you are referring to benefits as a spouse. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Keep in mind that if you qualify for your own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Please visit our Benefits Planner for more information. We hope this helps. 

        Reply
  9. K. S.

    You say you have been helping people of all kinds for 90 years, but NOW you have to start separating out the various groups that use Social Security? More wokeism bandwagon. It is immaterial what gender people are as long as you are serving them all fairly, and I hope you have been for those 90 years!
    Veterans are a unique group as they may not know they have SS benefits as well as Veteran benefits. (And thank you for noting them as an all encompassing group of “Veterans,” not by gender classifications!)

    Reply
    • Nyoka h.

      Amen

      Reply
  10. Honorably D.

    I’m a Veteran , called the Medford, Oregon office, twice yesterday. Both times the females who answered were not very friendly by any means. The last lady I talked to I was like can I give you some feedback? I’m a disabled Veteran and have never not received friendly customer service from any government organization until today. She apologized for not being friendly enough, told me my call was argumentative – which it wasn’t I was just trying to supply direct deposit information since the portal or website wouldn’t let me – then she hung up on me. Truly horrible. I worked for the Veterans Affairs and thought that culture was toxic. SSA workers give the appearance it’s even worse there. Don’t say you help Veterans. You have a culture problem.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      First of all, we want to thank you for your service to our country. We are sorry to hear about your experience. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Rich G.

        Seems as though SSA will respond to comments only to direct a person somewhere else to log a comment or concern. Maybe SSA should address what is being written here rather than redirection. Bad enough the new administration has segregated Americans into groups rather than addressing all as Americans.

        Reply
        • Patricia K.

          Well said.

          Reply

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