Social Security’s Plain Language Is “An Excellent Model to Follow”

February 16, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: February 16, 2023

Senior woman working on laptop computerI know how important it is that we communicate information to you—and everyone—in a clear and concise way. Our programs and policies can sometimes be complex and difficult. This is why we strive to use plain language that is easy to read, understand, and use.

I am proud to say that we achieved the highest score of any agency in government on the Center for Plain Language’s 2022 Federal Plain Language Report Card.

The Center evaluated 21 Executive Branch agencies, including all 15 cabinet-level departments, and graded each between an A+ and F- for writing quality and organizational compliance.

Social Security received an A+ for organizational compliance and an A for writing quality. This is an improvement over last year’s high scores of A+ and B.

“An excellent model to follow is the Social Security Administration’s Contact Us page, the only one to earn an A+,” the Center said in its key findings.

“The web page is clear in its intended purpose to provide information readers seek,” the Center said. “The page has clear and concise language and the reader is addressed directly,” it noted.

The Center also cited “excellent use of links, colors, fonts, sizing, bolding, bullets, and imagery to highlight important information.”

In addition, the Center recognized our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request page as an excellent model for other agencies. The 2022 Plain Language Report Card was released on January 10, 2023.

While it’s nice to be recognized, what really matters is what these scores represent: that we are successfully providing you with information that is easy to read, understand, and use.

Learn more about Social Security’s Plain Language Program at Plain Writing | SSA.

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