You Know What I Mean

plain-language blogWe want our friends, family, and even business partners to know exactly what we’re saying when we say it.

As a government agency that takes pride in serving our customers, we want you to understand our answers to your questions the first time, too.

At Social Security, we understand that clear and effective communication means more than just promptly taking a customer’s phone call or directing them to a helpful website. We want to provide useful information in a clear and easy-to-understand way, in writing, on the web, and over the phone. June was National Effective Communications Month, but at Social Security, we’re at the forefront of clear, concise communications all year round.

Our efforts to communicate clearly with the American public earned us high ratings in customer satisfaction and usability. We scored an “A” on the 2014 Federal Plain Language Report Card from the Center for Plain Language. This grade means we’re exceeding the standards of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which requires federal agencies to communicate clearly with the public. We’re the only federal agency to earn this honor for two consecutive years!

Not only is our website easy to navigate and understand, our publications and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are easy to read and understand, as well. You can browse through our collection of publications at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs to learn about Social Security, about our programs, and about what they mean to you and your family. Many publications are available in up to 17 languages, and they’re written in plain language. If you prefer a printed copy of a publication, you can call us at 410-965-2039, and we’ll mail a copy to you.

You can visit our FAQs and publications for accurate information at your convenience. Nothing is more important to us than meeting the needs of those we serve. We thank you, our customers, for your valuable feedback and vote of confidence!

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94 thoughts on “You Know What I Mean

  1. The announcements by SSA and IRS concerning the Economic Impact Payments stated that people presently receiving their retirement benefits by direct deposit would have that direct deposit information transferred to the IRS for payment. This is apparently not true. Although I filed tax returns for every year, including 2018 and 2019, I owed money so did not need to provide direct deposit info on my return because no refund. Today I FINALLY got the IRS site’s payment tool to work and it said that a paper check was being mailed on 5/22. Luckily, I was not in a hurry for it, but I had to devote time, energy, and worry into trying to figure out why my payment didn’t arrive by direct deposit. You could have saved me (and probably a lot of other people) a lot of headache by providing correct information.

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