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. Von C.

    Is the SSA admitting that they have not treated everyone as equals up to this point?

  2. Chuck

    I am 70 and have been paying into SS my whole working life and what I see today is nothing like I was sold it to be. I was sold it to be a government run savings account for my golden years, not a welfare program to people who have not contributed anything !

    • Susan S.

      VERY WELL SAID. As a teacher I saw lots of students very well and ale to work parts, laying around home onSSI and their kids planned on that as well. That’s why SS will go broke 9 years fro now.

    • Linda

      I agree to that 100% . Why we are we responsible for somebody else’s income that’s from another country and then they turn around and send the money to their country if Social Security gives them anything which they get first picks of any pay and then we’re waiting on the sideline to try to get onto security not fair

  3. Ronaldo

    Over 30% of Social Security goes to people who never paid into the program
    Plus the disability benefits are hugely scammed as well.
    Finally years ago Bubba Clinton mushed the program into the general budget when it had a surplus. Then the wife cheating bastard called his budget a plus when in fact it wasn’t.
    Stop the bs and kick out non payes and all disability payouts and take it out of the general budget and make it stand alone and then layoff 50% of the current staff and make it a lean machine and boost the people tat paid in by 50% or more and stop all this nonsense about racial equality gender equality and all the other crap!

    • Rebecca g.

      Agreed on the racial equality etc.
      But I am one that is truly disabled and I’ve worked since I was 8 years old paper route, and then starting at 13 or 14 I worked for state jobs it was called ceTa.
      Worked ever since until I became disabled when a car ran a red light and hit me head on.
      People on disability do not have it any better believe me.
      The raise vs increases in all of my insurance premiums have left me in a worse spot than I was prior to this.
      This government is focused on racial inequality and that’s about it!
      ITS A darn SHAME!
      Mismanaged funding.

      I’ve not missed a mortgage payment in 21 years then why should a professional be able to quit their job over the jab- stop paying their mortgage payments and get a free government grant for her delinquent mortgage payments- oh and MassHealth and snap to boot!
      Couldn’t agree more with your comments!

    • Barbara

      You are right. But a LONG TIME AGO, President L. B. Johnson made it possible to merge the SS fund with the general budget. That was the beginning of the end. Politicians were salivating to get their hands on that huge amount of money. If workers’ funds had gone into a personal account that they could manage, we all would be better off and more able to help those who really need it.

  4. Rita

    Does that mean that people who were disabled and then after retirement age, they won’t be treated as non disabilities? This is important because when one submits an appliacation related to housing, the real estate managers, coops, etc. allege that one cannot be considered disabled and hence one loses the ability to claim a disability on those applications for financial relief?

  5. David i.

    Another democrat feel good shovel full of BS, we all have to meet requirements, now that is “equity”. Nothing will change. AND, if SS is in such dire place of bankruptcy why are illegal immigrants and non-contributors receiving it. ALONG with legal immigrants in violation of immigration laws?

  6. Bob A.

    The rate at which you receive social security is based upon past income. We all receive at the exact same rate regardless of the color of our skin. If you want to address “inequality” effectively and fairly, then it needs to be addressed at the employment level, not with social security. You can’t address this problem “after the fact”

    • Susan L.

      Exactly, race should be addresses at the employment level.

    • Sue S.

      Exactly! Makes sense.

  7. Andrea A.

    That is going to help so many people. It made me cry. I have a feeling some good is going to come out of all this bad. I hope my kids have a less stressful time than me as they age. Thank you so so much.

  8. Gail

    Um, what should change? Don’t we all have to meet criteria based on age, or disability? Does my son’s spinal chord injury while he was in the military make him hurt less, be less disabled because he’s a white male? While it may not be intended, this new “equity” way of determining Social Security benefits could end up (somewhat rapidly) becoming a zero-sum game. Resources are finite, aren’t they? Even if monopoly money continues to be cranked out of the Treasury department?

    • Carol S.

      Well said.
      I am sorry about your son.

  9. Teresa B.

    My comment is : Why do widows not receive our spouses SS or at least 1/2 of it? Why do we have to suffer after our spouce is gone?
    It should go to the widow who strugles on just one beneft / income –

    • Ellen M.

      I as a widow totally agree!!!

    • Gail

      Hi Teresa, my insurance guy says it does go to us. We stop getting our own and get theirs, if that is more. Sort of a left-handed gift, if you will.

      • Ed

        Yes the family though which in the case of the widowwere 2 people with their own SS income. When one dies the family income goes down even though the widow might receive the higher social security. Social security division uses the annuity contract system if you will when doling out payments ,yet also uses other apsects of SS as an entitlement? confusing yet politicians seem to get it.

      • Mini m.

        I worked as an RN for 45 years. My husband died suddenly, 5 years ago. We were each receiving almost exactly the same SS payment, but mine was a few dollars more. So, I am now essentially trying to live on half my previous income, since utility bills, housing, etc. etc. etc. don’t change when there are only half of you. Life can suck big time, and having the idiots running the asylum right now sure doesn’t help. At least I have my church, my friends and my dogs! There are surely many people having worse times. And I can’t afford to help, except to say you are not alone!

      • bettyg, i.

        but if the widow makes more than her husband, it remains the same …. NO EXTRA MONEY coming in!

        just like $255 burial fund that has been the amount since it was began, i believe around ww 2??

        needs to be updated to today’s prices please.

        bettyg, iowa

    • Roxanne M.

      Although i am not a widow (divorced), I absolutely agree.

    • DebS

      I agree. In 1954 my father died suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 34. My mother was left to raise a 7 yr. old, 3 yr. old and she was 6 months pregnant at the time of his death. My father was a self-employed college educated Landscape Designer, and served in WWII and was honorably discharge. In 1954 the government didn’t recognize his military record or his self-employment record.
      It took my mother 3 years to finally receive Social Security benefits!!! The only lawyer that would help her with her case was Stanley Brotman. Who later in life became a Federal Judge from New Jersey. So I ask…Where was the equity when someone really needed the help??? I know people that have a “hang nail” and they get SSI, is that fair to hard working individuals who really need help???

    • harry

      i agree and those who have never paid into this program have no business getting any payouts.

      • Susan

        Some people become disable at a very young age and never have the opportunity to pay into the system. They receive benefits, but their payout is considerably less than someone who has decades of work history behind them. How do you feel about that?

      • Karen

        Exactly. Spouses who’ve never worked a day in their lives can collect benefits while others who’ve worked all their lives are penalized by the Windfall Elimination Provision & have 40% of their benefits reduced. How is that fair?

    • A.C.

      Hi, Teresa. Thanks for your questions. The amount of your widow’s benefit is based on several factors, including: the earnings of your spouse, when your spouse started receiving their benefits, your age, and the amount of your own retirement benefit. We compare your own benefit with your potential survivor benefit. If your survivor benefit would be higher than your own current retirement benefit, you would be eligible for survivor benefits. For more information about survivor benefits, please visit our Survivor Planner. You may also 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.

      • bettyg, i.

        ann, congrats; for once not a form letter reply.

        you gave some good examples and advise above; thank you to the person for asking the right question and ann for REPLYING vs. ignoring many of the good questions above.

        ann, please add the … on right side for the spammers who use this just taking up room vs. people’s honest feedback/questions. thank you.

        bettyg, iowa

  10. Vickey h.

    If you file for SSD MAKE SURE YOU Wait a month a d file another case, if you get denied for the first case which you willnowdaus they do this to cheat you out if any back pay you should get filing a second case 1 month after the first will get you your back pay. They cheated me out of all my back pay the judge said he thought I should hire anattorbet even though my file contained enough I formation to qualify me. He said there’s a good one right across the hall here set my case for 1 month which put me out of the u must work 20 quarters in the last 10 years. He denied me the second case was approved on the exact same day the judge denied my case. So now I only qualify for SSI which means instead of receiving about $2000 a month I only get $750. When I started working they said if you. Become disabled you will get a check. The SS Dr they sent me to said I could not work but they sti denied me!! Wen I finally got approved and turned ed 50 qualify for widows pension I filed 3 time they said I did not qualify when their booklet clearly states I do. I filed 3 times no they said I do not qualify. When I turned 62 they changed me to early retirement that was a $50 a month decrease in benefits. Then they said the y overpaid me $8,100. I appeared it and won but then they said there was 2 overpayment for $8,100 on the same day but they never told me there was a second one on the same day. But wait I never received a y money for any overpayment, I did you never gave me money but now I am paying back$50 a month on and overpayment if $8,100 that I never got in the first place. Idk how they can make you pay back money they never gave you in the first place! So the man said I was qualified for the widows pension when I turned ed 50 so for 12 years they cheated me out of my widows pension. So now they have cheated me for about $80,000 I back pay cause it took 6 yrs to get in court then they charged me $8,100 for an overpayment never got. Plus 12 years at $243 a month about $26,000. I would have never lost my home be cause I lost my husbands income.thats another $94,000. Plus they put that judgement on my credit and I will have to pay it if I buy a other house. This lie I was told when I started work at 12 yrs old was when you get old you will get a check a.d medical
    Benefits from medicare you wont have to pay for because we are taking money for it. Now. But I now have to pay for Medicare too!!! What a load of BS ! We not only have to pay for it now but when they give us a pay raise they raise the amount you.ust pay for medicare so you really GET NO F-ING PAY RAISE FROM NOW ON!!! FORMEDICARE WHICH WE PAID FOR ALL OUR F-ING LIVES HA !HA! HA!

    • Re A.

      hire an attorney

      • Sherrie H.

        Make sure it’s a democrat attorney, tho

        • jim

          Right, then you will really get screwed.

    • jane

      I had that happen to me and was told i would not get back time i wonder what happens to the back time how do they write that of and what happens to the benefits of the people who passed because of covid i know of people who passed with no family members to get theirs.

    • betty, i.

      i wish you would have broken up your post into short paragraphs using punctuation so we could read and follow your story.

      you can double-space when replying between paragraphs making your posts user friendly for those of us with neuro cognitive lyme disease / adhd patients who have lost our reading comprehension due to decades of being misdiagnosed.

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