Social Security’s Commitment to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Chinese Grandfather Giving Granddaughter Ride On Shoulders In ParkDuring the month of May, we observe Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the United States. We celebrate the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the countless ways they enrich our nation. Like America, the AAPI community draws strength from the diversity of its distinct cultures—each with its own vibrant history and range of perspectives.

I am Andy Liu and I serve as the Social Security Administration’s General Counsel. As a Chinese American and member of the AAPI community, I understand the many challenges and needs of our community. I joined Social Security for its mission – delivering Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the American public. This mission is not complete unless we reach everyone entitled to receive our services.

Social Security treats all people equally, and doing so requires that we recognize the importance of understanding the unique challenges, specific needs, and concerns that some AAPI community members face in communicating with us and accessing the services we offer. From providing free interpreter services to offering our publications in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, we strive to make our services and programs equally accessible to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We proudly employ about 1,700 bilingual AAPI employees in our field offices and call centers. We also conduct ongoing research and work with national, state, and local organizations to ensure AAPIs have full access to our programs and services.

As Christopher Kang explained in his blog post celebrating the Lunar New Year, the reality is that far too many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are not aware of these resources. You can help us further Social Security’s mission by spreading the word among your colleagues, members, and networks about our online resources.

Social Security is committed to the White House AAPI Initiative. You can visit our Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders page for more information.


85 thoughts on “Social Security’s Commitment to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

  1. Social Security is for people who pay into it their whole life until they are eligible to receive Social Security..

    • I agree. I see so many families bring their parents from across the oceans and the can recieve ssi & ssdi. I’ve put over 1..5 million into my account and when I start receiving it, they are going to tax me on top of that. Not right, not fair

      • I agree with your sentiment but no one just comes over from a foreign country and gets SSI. Also there is an earnings test to get SSDI. If you have not worked and paid in then you don’t get anything no matter where you’re from.
        Finally, no on has paid in 1.5 million, that is statistically impossible. Send for your earnings statement and look at what you’ve contributed.

        • Where are you from. All foreigners get free housing, free medical, and free food stamps until they can get a job. Washington, D.C. are experimenting with paying criminals FREE food stamps, free medical care, free housing and giving them $900.00 a month if they promise not to commit any more crime. They say its cheaper.

          • False, false, false. Please cite your OFFICIAL SOURCE (eg, the US Government) of your disgusting FALSE statements.

      • I’m with you..NUMERO fact that doe is yours and whoever you choose in your family or out to pull it after you go..And it SHOULD NOT BE A CHARITY to strangers UNLESS YOU ELECT IT

  2. I agree with the previous comments. If someone has put into the system, then they r totally entitled to receive benefits. If, however, someone comes here from another country and has never put into the system, they are not entitled to receive a penny. That us NOT what the social security system was designed for. It is not a bank for immigrants, illegal or legal, to bilk our system and exhaust funds from those who have worked and diligently deposited funds.

  3. Simple: “No tickee, no shirtee”. If you haven’t paid in you should not be entitled to take out!

    This is not a “Piggy Bank” for the gov’t. to tap for purposes other than those for which it was intended. It is the property of those who contributed into it, and theirs alone. Looting is looting no matter how you try to disguise it!
    As most gov’t. employees do not participate in SS how many times has their fund(s) been raided for one reason or another? If its good enough for the Tax Payers it should be good enough for everyone!
    Looting SS for reasons other than which it was intended are grounds for revolution!

  4. Susa is so right. I am 75 years old and put into social Security for most of my life. How can we possibly give anyone anything from that account that has not already put in thousands of their hard earned dollars. I believe in the American way of letting legal immigrants into America to EARN their new freedom through their own efforts. As a veteran, this makes me question some of the decisions that wealthy politicians make on our (The working poor) behalf! When do we start to make the immigrants pay their own way??? Like they had to do so many years ago!!

  5. Frankly, there is nothing to add to the comments listed here. I have always believed that if one pays into the system, no matter how much they may be receiving in retirement benefits (pension,stocks,etc.) they should receive the benefits they paid into the system. This “means testing” that some politicians (on both sides of the aisle), is BS. After all, workers do NOT get a say in having SS taxes taken from their pay, so why in the world should any means testing be a pre-requisite for receiving any benefits we paid for? I also have believed (and still do) that workers should have the right to decide how much should be taken out of their pay for SS benefits later on. That being said, the benefits returned to them should be predicated on how much was taken out.

  6. Ive been paying in SS for years and hope to see some of it when i retire nevertheless just as a decent human being, I wouldn’t expect anything I have not earned or contributed to, to me thats just common courtesy, respect and decency. So with that in mind, that tells me that there is no respect for us as us citizens or our well being, as well as our country. Who in the hell gave them the right to do this?

  7. I am Asian American (From India) and have lived here in this beautiful country for almost 50 years and have paid my dues to the society and also contributed to Social Security. It bothers me a lot where some immigrants bring their parents or other relatives to this country and put them on SSI and Medicaid as soon as possible. Basically they are milking the system. I believe the number of overseas immigrants who are on SSI and Medicaid are more than 1.5 million.

  8. I know that when the Vietnamese came here they received welfare and social security, were given cars and homes, Some are granted social security because they don’t speak English and are too old to learn. I had to wait to receive mine, I am an American and am very angry that there is this special treatment, we as citizens get the short end of the stick. I am sick of special treatment for different nationalities. If the people brought their parents over then they can support them, NOT ME.

  9. Also the Social Security is a retirement account for those of us who pay into it, it is our money we should decide what the money is used for. It’s not a bank account for the government to decide what to do with it. Foreigners get what are called Gold Checks from social security because they are slightly Golden Rod. My daughter worked at a bank they would come in with a welfare check and a gold check, they would receive more than $2000.00 a month. As a born and raised American I am not entitled to it. What the government calls Foreign that there giving these people is really coming from Social Security. Call and find out. I did. It tears me apart that MY Country does this to me. If I went to their country they wouldn’t support me. Also these people don’t come here to be American, that’s why their called Asian this, Pacific Islander, Latino American etc. etc., nothing but self segregation. I am Scotch, Irish, English and Cherokee Where is my special treatment?

    • Before direct deposit became the norm, all government checks looked alike and could only be ID’d by the agency name typed on them. A tax refund, an ADC or a social security check all looked the same. Your daughter would have no way of telling if a “foreigner” was cheating the system.

    • There are hundreds of thousands of people from other countries working in the US and paying social security. There are hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are retired and living overseas.

    • Please post the OFFICIAL US government source where you got this FALSE information. I know you don’t have one because this is simply not true.

  10. OOPS, look at the very bottom of the page, it says paid for by taxpayers expense. Wow that says it all!!!!

      • So you don’t think the US government should use the same technology that every other living human and organization uses, eg, the Internet, in order to reach every citizen with all the information they may need? No, you’d prefer to complain about how you can never get answers because you have to wait on hold on the phone for so long. There is no pleasing spoiled, greedy, selfish Americans.

  11. One thing that is bothersome though is special months and weeks for some ethnic minority. And then to be told that SS treats, and the government to a greater extent, everyone equally. The very fact that there are special times set aside for some and not others demonstrates unequal treatment. And this gets me to this one point, why all the celebration over diversity, and excluding some when we are all supposed to be Americans, part of one big melting pot? This post was another in a series of useless posts.

  12. The entitlements available in the SSA System should be based on payments of those individuals who pay into the system. It is criminal to allow payments to individuals who have not made the contributions. I resent that our government can control the distributions of these funds to individuals who have not paid their fair share. Individuals in government who use their power and position to mis-use these dedicated funds should have their incomes garnished to cover these indiscriminate decisions they have made for political reasons. The justice department or perhaps an outside legal group versed in government crime should investigate the allocation of Social Security Funds. How can Congressional Members vote and accept pay raises when we have no increase in benefits? The criteria or criterion used for determining inflatable costs considerations for retired individuals is shamefully igornant of those expenses confronting each senior. I deserve the best medical expertise, facilities, and medications comparable to the medical expectations of any Senator or House of Representative Member. Explain to all of us why many Doctors no longer accept Medicare patients? Do we not have equal needs for competent Drs” and the best meds possible? Let’s eliminate the elements of stress for Seniors so that we can enjoy the few remaining years we have to live in a wonderful country.

    • Fewer doctors accept Medicare because Republican Congress members like Paul Ryan, who is STILL sponsoring a bill to GET RID OF Medicare keep CUTTING the amounts they are paid! Example, a doctor who charges $78 for an office visit is paid $12 – that’s TWELVE DOLLARS – IF it’s considered a covered expense. Do you work for free? Stop voting for these Congress persons who think Medicare and Social Security are “handouts” and who want to end them, cut them, gut them, and who shame and stigmatize anyone who receives these and other government benefits.

  13. All have valid points. First stop the SS money from going into the general fund. Then I will start to believe that change can happen. Next increase the income cap to about $250,000 which should stabilize the fund for now. There other changes that can and should be made, we have at least 5 other programs drawing off funds from the SS Fund and this was never meant to be. Just one check per person who qualified that’s it.
    Now we have programs coming that are actually redundant with other government social programs and there is no check and balances so individuals can receive help (money, Utility bills, food stamps, rent, heath, vehicle maintenance, etc.) plus funds from SS.
    these type of programs DO NOT know who is getting what. So if your benefits are more then someone trying to make it on a labor job just what is my incentive to get off said programs. Incentives please!!

    • False, false, false. All of you people making your angry little claims but not one of them is true, and not one of you has ever looked to the source for verification – the US government official site – before you post your childish little rants.

  14. I do not care if it is SSI, SS,SSDI, welfare, rent subsidies,food stamps,cell phone give aways, whatever! We need to stop encouraging people that can not and will not work from coming to America. If you can pay your own way, and become a contributing AMERICAN not Asian American, Hispanic American, Pacific Islander American, African American etc. then come in by all means and contribute. My sister worked with a Dr. yes, a Dr. who brought her Mother over from China and guess what….immediately got on the dole(system). Never paid a dime, no intention to either. Just came over to live with her Dr. daughter and voila…..welfare recipient. We can not afford to do this, there are too many lazy Americans trying to get the same funds the foreigners are, and although I think all should have to work and contribute, I would rather see a lazy American get the money than someone who comes here for the soul purpose of getting the generosity of the American people lining their pockets.

    • The majority of the people collecting SS, SSI, SSDI and welfare are white. They learn about these stuff from the white Americans.

      They just can’t come to the United States and collect welfare. They need to be Citizens or permanent residents.

      Your just a racist by saying not the other types of Americans.

  15. There is a sicial security crisis in Indonesia now! All banks stopped cashing social security checks. The Manila ss office does not seem able to set up direct deposit. People on social security including children went to zero income. After trying for weeks no one in social security has emailed or called to tell me what they are doing or offer advice or provide an update. The social security office is stomped. They have no person or direction to investigate the problem. If you can not solve the problem then at least add Indonesia to the countries which can not receive social security benifits.

  16. My ex-husband didn’t work full-time since we divorced. He applied for Social Security and without adding anything to it, he still received SSI, health care and help with his rent. Where did that money come from? From people that paid into SS and the government gave to someone who did not deserve it!

  17. I agree with Ken and Susa. I did not work for 25 years while raising my children, came back at 50 to work again. I just retired from my job at 87 because every year I worked after getting SS added to my benefits. But I DID NOT GET ANYTHING I HAD NOT EARNED. However, I honestly do not know if the payments aliens get when they come to this country are actually getting from SS or another fund. If from SS that is really FRAUD.

  18. In addition to what you have paid into the system, remember that wherever you are employed and SS Tax is taken from your pay your employer is matching that. They have no choice in this either. So SS is receiving double every time a SS Tax is sent to them. If you are a small business that say employs 10 people and at the end of the week when everyone gets paid and say each person contributes $15. That is $150.00 so therefore, SS receives $300.00. Something to think about!

  19. The social security administration does not treat people equally. Google Shawn McMurray Gulf War Vet and read the story. Judge is biased and discriminatory against Navy Vets.I was in a very bad motorcycle accident not of my fault I had a 30 percent chance to live. My wife transferred my medical records from the trauma hospital to the VA.The VA takes care of my acaccident injuries. Judge is very uneducated. He belittled my service and what does the Gulf War 25 years ago have to do with me being hit by a truck in 2012. He went through my millitary records and pulled something out that happened 25 years ago and denied me.I already proved it!!!!..

  20. If you receive social security benifits do not retire in Indonesia because there are many problems trying to get your retirement. Banks in. Indonesia are not as advanced as in the Philippines. It is difficult to get a bank account, checks will not be cashed and direct deposits are difficult to set up. I feel sorry for the people from Indonesia who work in the US because if they return to Indonesia it is difficult or impossible to receive social security payments.

  21. Very hard to believe!!!!! I called the ss office in Manila and got a hard working, intelligent girl on line that answered questions and checked the mail office for letter; she was fast, efficient and had excellent communication skills. I can hardly believe it!.

  22. I have to agree with most of the comments. My own Grandmother became a naturalized U.S Citizen about 2-3 years ago thanks to my uncle. However she never worked a day in the U.S nor in the country where she was born, she receives a check every month and I know for a fact its from social security. She also gets free insurance through medical. This is my grandma yet I don’t think its right. Why should someone that’s never worked a day in the U.S nor has paid taxes have the privilege to collect social security or any kind of free healthcare. I’m sorry but just because you are elderly should you have the right to do that! That’s not ok!!!! I’m sorry but I just don’t think it’s fair nor right. These laws need to change! By the time I retire I there wont be any left for me. Ridiculous!!!!!!

  23. I just came to America but I’ve received my SS card/number already. When can I apply for Medicaid and SSI BENEFIT?

    • Hi Faye. Thanks for the question. If you’re receiving Social Security benefits (retirement, survivors, or disability), you can start or update your direct deposit information by using your personal my Social Security account. If receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or unable to conduct business online, you can start or update your direct deposit by contacting the bank, credit union, or savings and loan association or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

      See our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.

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