The American Dream is Alive

July 4, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: July 4, 2016

Multiethnic Group of Friends with United States FlagNow, more than ever, is a good time to reflect on diversity to build a better future, as a unified nation. Let’s celebrate our differences without forgetting our fundamental likeness. We are all Americans who believe in freedom and democracy for all.

This is what the American dream is all about. Everyone deserves a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship.

Social Security has retirement benefits and the tools to help you plan for your retirement, and to apply for benefits online. We also provide disability benefits to individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from working. If the disabled individual has dependent family members, they can also receive payments.

If you or anyone you know is disabled, they may qualify for disability benefits. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age. To see if you meet our strict definition of disabled, read our publication Disability Benefits.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. Go online to learn more about Social Security’s survivors benefits.

Honoring each other begins with fair and equal treatment. Social Security guarantees that, if you pay into the system and meet our eligibility requirement, you will receive the benefits due to you. We want to make sure our diverse nation is covered, that everyone gets the benefits they deserve, and that no one is left out. Visit to learn more.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Karen M.

    I have a client that has requested SSA to pay her retirement to her for the last 13 years. No one at Social Security in White Plains, NY responds to her requests, in person, in writing, with a representative, with an Advocate. Recently, SSA sent her a letter confirming that she was deceased. She took the letter and went into the SSA office, showed them the letter and said “Look at me, I’m not dead. Please pay me all my back-due retirement benefits.” NO RESPONSE. She is now 78 years old. TELL ME JIM BORLAND, me as her Advocate/Rep., please email me to tell me who do I talk to for help ( as to what I can do to expedite her request in NY so she gets paid ALL HER back RETIREMENT BENEFITS plus COLA and interest due ASAP (it’s July 4, 2016!). She has paid taxes on between $250K-$350K into the IRS since 1987 working 2-3 jobs a month.

    • John O.

      Your scenario is ridiculous. All she has to do is go into the local SS office with proper ID and this would be taken care of within the month. An advocate is in no position to help and only hinders the process. Get out of her way and allow her to straighten out her problem and don’t say, “she tried that”, that’s total BS.

    • D. B.

      Karen, unfortunately, your client’s situation is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For security purposes, we do not have access to individual’s personal records in this venue. We do ask that members in our Blog community continue to work with our offices with questions about their specific cases. We hope this matter is resolved soon.

  2. Denise

    Fair and equal treatment?? When did that start. I must have missed it. I watch my daughter struggle to pay her student loans and to live with basic needs but people come into our country and get free education and whatever they need to live a lot better then the rest of us. This is why Trump keeps getting criticized because he wants to take people in this country first. Why is that so difficult to understand? I guess if you don’t struggle like all these politicians you wouldn’t get it. Makes me sick!!!!

  3. Pamala L.

    My comment noted previously today was directed at the comments of Barbara Maloney on this days blogs. Thank you Sir for at least attempting to reach out to Americans with information and the opportunity for dialog in the Land of the Free.

  4. Enos

    Perhaps, SS was a good thing after the Great Depression; forced saving for the retirement years. Somewhere along the line, government decided it was too good a thing and started messing in the system. Now, SS is distributed to those that haven’t/don’t contribute and SS is taxed up to 85% if one desires to continue to be a productive member of society. Make too much in any one year, and the monthly distribution is lowered. These funds were contributed by the taxpayer and when it comes time to “pony up” there is some yo-yo making decisions with our funds. The government uses SS contributions as a “slush” fund for their every whim and spends money like there is no tomorrow. We are told that our national debt is 19 trillion, more than double what it was 7 years ago. and rising at the rate of 150 billion per day. How much of that 10 trillion did the average American receive? I would wager that a majority of the lawmakers in our government have a net worth of more than 7 figures, with many of them in the 8 to 9 figure range. I would also wager that a majority of Americans have a difficult time stretching their paychecks from month to month. Please pass the crumbs……..

  5. Tc130

    This country was built by those who worked hard. It is being destroyed by the sick, lame and lazy!

    • Elcho

      Don’t forget about all the mexicans vermint….

  6. Jack

    This article is so full of leftist drivel that it was difficult to read and digest. I cringe whenever I see the left say what people “deserve.” Most of their giveaways go to people who have done nothing to receive the benefits that they are receiving. How many people from Central and South America are receiving Social Security benefits as soon as they cross the border illegally? The last paragraph of this article is a joke.

    • John O.

      I could not agree more.

    • D. B.

      Jack, thank you for your feedback. Our blog — Social Security Matters — gives readers information about a variety of topics, including our programs, online services, current events, and human-interest stories, usually in greater detail than typically shared on our other social media platforms. For more information on international programs, please contact our Office of International Operations home page for assistance.

  7. Frances R.

    No doubt you’re not going to read these posts, Mr. Borland, because you don’t care, and, believe me, we are well aware of how you and our federal, state, county, and local governments don’t care. The middle class is disappearing. Cuts have been made to Medicare. SS recipients aren’t going to get anything this January 1 (1917). Infrastructure throughout The US is bad. (It’s going to take millions to replace failing water pipes where In live, in ABQ, NM – and that’s just ONE city.) Education is a really bad joke. There are no real jobs. Workplace benefits are disappearing. SS has raised the retirement age; however, according to Medicare, almost half of The US population cannot work by the age of 65 due to one or more illnesses/injuries. But there is plenty of money for foreign aid and how about this: SHAME on you, Mr. Borland, for just repeating the party lies. How do you sleep at night? I hope you don’t.

  8. Sonny

    Are you serious? The American Dream has been decimated and destroyed by this Administration! Remember ‘you didn’t build that’? and pitting one group against another — mainly the productive/successful against the non-productive/non-successful, race against race and government versus the private sector. It’s an absolute joke but you go on thinking all is well!

    • S L.

      Not this administration, but all the admins since the 1980s. Republicans and Democrats, chasing election campaign dollars and after-politics sincures, have all participated in selling off the security of the 99% for the dollars of the 1%. Vote progressive from the lowest local levels to the highest office of the land.

      • David M.

        Most politicians are progressive. How has that worked for you? The country is not only broke, our enemies own our debt. Progressive run cities are bankrupt. Two generations of free handouts have created a class who feel the govt OWES them everything. Get the govt out of the way and out of our personal lives.

    • John O.

      While what you say is true, that dream has been slowly eroded away for the last 100 years and accelerated in the last decade. What is really sad is the fact that this site is being used as a propaganda arm of the federal government. The people don’t want freedom and democracy, they want freedom and a restoration of the Democratic Republic. This is evidenced every time they post some PC garbage and get so many off the topic remarks which features the frustration that people feel.


    Everyone does deserve a life free of economic hardship yet the govt programs to assist with such a life in America have not been 21st century reality. I have met many who have failed and needed a had up yet the govt programs design of yesteryear are now creating no way out.

    As a single mother today works to eliminate the need for assistance, the increase in childcare pay hinders any out. Those with special needs children who do not want to be on the system are forced there to ensure their child has the care they need since private insurance companies do not provide all the services that Federal and State funded insurance provides. All special needs children should be entitled to the same care regardless of private or govt insurance. Why are taxpayers charged while private insurance is not held accountable?
    We are all aware the means to America’s growth arrived with a multitude of environmental issues that are leading to health related issues today. The cost of progress much like the cost of health relative to gasoline and alcohol. Wars and those with compromised genetic markers all from exposure to the unknown or yet to be identified are costing the children of this nation. We cannot continue to sue for what has been. It is time to look to the realities of today, ensure those in need regardless of income receive the medical coverage needed. We need to gain control of today and ensure yesterday’s mistakes are not carried forward.

    • Pamala L.

      I want to applaud your ability to articulate, in such a succinct manner, and navigate a very large social chasm that needs exploration and public explanation to at least the degree of your obvious understanding. Bravo and thank you for your generous sharing. Pamala L. Tampa, Fl.

  10. brian

    baloney!!! In UK seniors like everyone get free medical and they also get free drugs and free public transport and theres no reason why anyone needs be homeless
    ALSO streets etc are clean and crime is low

    • S L.

      Vote progressives in, and dump the GOP. (note: not all Democrats are progressive).

      • KHEDIO


        • Elcho

          Very true.
          Parasites is what’s killing America, plus the millions of ILLEGALS from the south border.
          Good bless America.

          • Jheibeck


            Bless America

      • Hank

        I have no idea where you get your information from, but it sounds as if you have been brain washed by the liberals. I have NOT heard one democrat/progressive that tells the truth! I am going with Trump, 100%. He is not perfect, but he will be 1000% better than Clinton. She is a communist with the title of democrat, but then most progressives are communists. No Thanks!

        • Jay

          I agree with you 100% too. It’s time to allow a Washington “outsider” see what he can do!

        • Jay

          I also agree with you 100%. It’s time to allow a Washington “outsider” see what he can do!

        • sir

          You really think Trump is better especially when he said he is going to cut Social Security & Medicare; better get your facts straight!

    • Enrique

      I agree with you 100%

    • John C.

      Wonder why your doctors are moving to the USA!! Maybe has to do with low wages.

    • John O.

      Nothing is free. The people who pay taxes foot the bill. Streets are clean? Doubt it is any different than in the States and the Brits are overrun with aliens who commit so much crime that the police can’t go into their enclaves.

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