General, Online Services, Retirement

Social Security’s Commitment to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

May 9, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 11, 2023

Chinese Grandfather Giving Granddaughter Ride On Shoulders In ParkDuring the month of May, we observe Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific
Islander Heritage Month (AANHPIHM) Heritage Month in the United States. We celebrate the accomplishments of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and the countless ways they enrich our nation. Like America, AA and NHPI communities draw 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 AA and NHPI 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 AA and NHPI 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, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. We proudly employ about 1,700 bilingual AA and NHPI employees in our field offices and call centers. We also conduct ongoing research and work with national, state, and local organizations to ensure AA and NHPIs 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, Native Hawaiians, 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 AA and NHPI Initiative. You can visit our Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders page for more information.

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Andy Liu, Social Security Administration's General Counsel

Andy Liu, Social Security Administration's General Counsel


  1. Linda M.

    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?

    • John O.

      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.

    • Lex R.

      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.

    • Marc

      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.

  2. Linda M.

    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.

    • John O.

      I don’t know where you people come up with such wild stories. Immigrants whether legal or not do take advantage of our medical, educational and welfare payments because this administration encourages it but this has nothing to do with SocialSecurity.

      • Minna, M.

        You don’t know the reality then. I personally know families where parents are getting over $500 in SSI and get free medicaid. I pay $30 for my co-pay when I go to see a doctor. My friends father pays only $2 for his copay when he sees to go a doctor.
        That is a FRAUD. My friend’s father never paid a dime in SS contributions.

        • RR

          It’s worse for citizens who were born here in US & able to work but dependent on welfare grants (SSI, etc.) w/ children; receiving enormous gov’t welfare. Asian/American dependents don’t get SSI until they meet the required # of yrs. of residence. They have to be naturalized citizens before they qualify to receive SSI or welfare benefits. .
          My neighbor age 40 w/ her live-in partner & a child;.she doesn’t work, had car, partner don’t have permanent job w/ own car. & live better off than me who’ve worked 2 jobs for 40 yrs. I took early retirement & can’t even qualify for SSI, etc.

      • fayemiller

        John OMalia, YOU are the one who is wrong. Most, if not all, of us who are making statements about people receiving payouts from Soc. Sec who have not paid in personally know people who are receiving these funds. I think you should investigate yourself if you believe our funds are only paid out to those who have paid in all their lives. The fund has been robbed continuously over the years.

    • Si

      Linda, there are the good, the bad and the ugly coming to this country and the only “real” Native American Who are those born here originally with the feathers on their head used to be called and still called American Indian! They have been received so much special incentives to live in this country but see the significant contribution totally from their part, nobody complained about it. Different status of immigrants coming to this country should be treated fairly respectfully politically properly accordingly! The welfare, Medicaid, government aid, social services support system here in this country designed for “temporary support” any qualified individuals to get through their “temporary needs”, never meant for a long term abused support!

    • Chris

      It appears there is some confusion among many regarding immigrants. There is a difference between immigrants and those defined as refugees. There are many refugee groups NOT associated with Social Security that help refugees obtain housing, vehicles and assist them with their relocation needs.

      Some immigtants are sponsored and their sponsors are responsible for their needs

      This might answer some of your questions as well regarding state and federal benefits SOME (not all) may be eligible for upon entry to the US legally.

      Personally I will always choose to do my own research than take a 3rd party story as that 3rd party story is often full of a variety of facts and fiction which may only be a result of misunderstanding.

      • Marc

        You are correct as well as logical and rational. But alas, too polite. It’s not a matter of “misunderstanding,” but irrational hatred, bigotry, and willful ignorance.

    • Marc

      You are so full of it. Exactly where did you get this FALSE information? These Vietnamese people did NOT get “free cars,” not one of them, ever. I recall these disgusting rumors being circulated at the time; now its the “Muslims,” 100 years ago it was the Irish, etc. Wow, for a country that is made up ENTIRELY of immigrants, you people are certainly hateful toward anyone from anywhere else. Not a single one of you here did not come from IMMIGRANT ancestors unless you are Native Americans- but of course, you most likely hate them, too.

  3. Minna, M.

    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.

    • Si

      Yes, Minna, totally agree with you!

    • Marc

      Please cite the source of your figures “over 1.5 million.” Just because YOU “believe” it doesn’t make it a fact.

  4. kim

    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?

    • John O.

      They don’t do it.

    • Si

      Well said, Kim!!!

  5. Sharon T.

    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.

    • John O.

      Social Security is not means tested, SSI which is welfare is.

    • Si

      Yes, Sharon, you are right!

    • Lotta

      You co’lndut pay me to ignore these posts!

  6. Kent

    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!!

    • John O.

      SS doesn’t that is why Susan is wrong.

    • Si

      Yes, absolutely agree!

      • Si

        I mean… Yes, absolutely agree with Kent and Susan.

  7. Col J.

    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!

    • John O.

      Under the new retirement system put in place 32 years ago most government employees do pay into Social Security.

      • Mary

        They do not!!

        • Marc

          Umbrella, yes, they do. Before you make any more ignorant claims and further embarrass yourself, why don’t you LOOK IT UP- on the OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT website, not your favorite conservative ignoramus talk show host or your equally ignorant neighbors!

    • Si

      Totally agree!!!

  8. Susa

    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.

    • Si

      Totally agree!!!

      • Marc

        And they are NOT receiving money from Social Security, either.

      • Hail E.

        There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I love all the points you’ve made.

  9. Frank

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

    • Bruce

      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

      • John O.

        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.

        • Charlie M.

          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.

          • Marc

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

      • ELENA U.

        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

  10. Ken

    I feel that if anyone has paid in Social Security then they should be able to receive Social Security

Comments are closed.