Disability, General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

Social Security’s Equity Action Plan

April 14, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: April 14, 2022

Social Security Administration LogoOn January 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The EO requires all Federal agencies “to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all including people of color and other people who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”

Our programs touch the lives of nearly every American including people who face barriers – providing income security for the diverse populations we serve. This includes:

  • People with disabilities.
  • People who are widowed.
  • Retirees.
  • Their families.

We are committed to continuing to administer our programs in a way that promotes equity and treating all individuals who interact with us with fairness. We recognize that access to our administrative system can pose barriers to people who need our programs the most. To reduce these barriers and ensure everyone has access to our services, our Equity Action Plan includes:

  • Increasing collection of race and ethnicity data to help understand whether our programs are equitably serving our applicants and beneficiaries.
  • Revising our policies and practices to expand options for service delivery.
  • Ensuring equitable access for unrepresented claimants in the disability application process.
  • Decreasing burdens for people who identify as gender diverse or transgender in the Social Security Number card application process.
  • Increasing access to our research grant programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, and to procurement opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.

Please visit Social Security Open Government Plans and Progress to learn more about each of the actions outlined in our Equity Action Plan. We look forward to advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity for all. Please share this information with your friends and family – and post it on social media.


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  1. Patricia B.

    My husband and I were married May 12,1916 and we divorced September 26,1977. We remarried May 26,1984 and we divorced November 15,1993. The first marriage was 8 years and 4 months. The second marriage was 9 years and 6 months. He is the only person I have married. I understand the two cannot be combined because we were not remarried within 12 months of divorce. He passed away Nov. 18, 2020. I fill 17years and 10 months should count for something. I also feel widows are treated more kindly than divorces.

    Reply
  2. Bell

    I have been married to my husband for 13 years, we have two children aged 12 and 19. We are currently divorced and I have returned my green card. Now my husband is dead, so I came back to America to ask what kind of money benefits I should get because I’ve lived with my husband for over 10 years have number ssn and haven’t remarried. Today I went to ask for money on social media in the case of my husband’s death but I don’t have a green card. The officer said I didn’t receive the money because I have already returned the green card. It’s like I’m not an American. I feel very sad..please help me.

    Reply
  3. Bell

    I have been married to my husband for 13 years and have two children, aged 12 and 19. Currently divorced, I returned my green card to go home. Later my husband died of a heart attack. I don’t have a green card, can I get a benefit.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bell. We are sorry to hear about your loss. You may be eligible to receive survivors benefits at any age, if you have not remarried and you take care of the deceased worker’s child who is under age 16 or has a disability and receives child’s benefits. For more information, please visit our Survivors Planner. As far as being a noncitizen, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional specific questions, 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
      • Bell

        I have been married to my husband for 13 years, we have two children aged 12 and 19. We are currently divorced and I have returned my green card. Now my husband is dead, so I came back to America to ask what kind of money benefits I should get because I’ve lived with my husband for over 10 years have number ssn and haven’t remarried. Today I went to ask for money on social media in the case of my husband’s death but I don’t have a green card. The officer said I didn’t receive the money because I have already returned the green card. It’s like I’m not an American. I feel very sad..please help me.

        Reply
  4. Steven F.

    What are the income limits for a couple one gets just social security at age 69 and his wife gets SSI?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Steven. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based disability program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. However, there are many other factors, such income changes, living arrangements, and additional resources, that determine whether an individual may receive SSI. For assistance, the couple can contact their local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Kelly K.

    How can I get paid for being my husbands caregiver? My husband is already disabled, but right now he can care for himself, however, on September 8,2022 he is going to have another surgery on his neck and brain stem which is going to cause him to be completely disabled w no driving at all. I am on temporary leave w my job right now, but I will not be getting paid. I need to know what I can do

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Kelly. We are sorry to hear that. We do not pay caregivers. However, 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

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