January 8, 2010 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, and Chubby Checker, Grammy Award winner and rock and roll legend, today launched a new campaign to inform millions of Americans about a new “twist” in the law that makes it easier to qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs.  The extra help program currently provides assistance to more than nine million senior and disabled Americans -- saving them an average of almost $4,000 a year on their Medicare prescription drug plan costs.  To apply for extra help, there is an easy-to-use online application available at

January 22, 2010 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced that the agency is making new data about beneficiaries and the agency’s disability and hearing processes available to the public. The new data supports the President’s Transparency and Open Government initiative and is available at

February 1, 2010 SSA announced that 15 healthcare providers and networks have received $17.4 million in contract awards to provide electronic medical records to the agency.  These electronic medical records, which will be sent through the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), will significantly shorten the time it takes to make a disability decision and will improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of the disability program.

March 15, 2010 SSA announced its first Extended Service Team (EST) is open for business in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock EST will make disability decisions for state Disability Determinations Services (DDSs) that are most adversely affected by the flood of new initial disability claims. Later this year, SSA plans to open additional ESTs in Madison, Mississippi; Roanoke, Virginia; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

April 7, 2010 SSA released its Open Government plan. The plan is part of the President's initiatives for open government. Three flagship initiatives are highlighted in the plan -- the Spanish-Language Retirement Estimator, Online Service Enhancement, and an Online Life-Expectancy Calculator.  These initiatives support the agency’s mission, goals, and objectives, as well as showcase the value of open government principles.

August 2, 2010 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, opened in St. Louis, Missouri the agency’s fifth National Hearing Center (NHC).  

August 14, 2010 The Social Security Act's 75th anniversary.

October 15, 2010 Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 58 million Americans will not automatically increase in 2011, the Social Security Administration announced.

October 26, 2010 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, joined Congressman John Tanner and local officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for the agency’s new teleservice center (TSC) in Jackson, Tennessee. 

December 22, 2010 The United States Senate confirmed Carolyn Colvin as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security to a term that expires on January 19, 2013.

January 25, 2011 SSA announced a new way for members of the public to participate in open and transparent government.  In response to President Obama’s executive order on improving regulations and regulatory review, Social Security is inviting people to provide direct feedback on its rules and regulations.  Ideas and comments may be emailed to

February 4, 2011 SSA dedicated the Robert M. Ball Federal Building at SSA headquarters in Baltimore. This renaming of the Operations building at SSA was mandated by an act of Congress.

March 16, 2011 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, hosted the agency’s seventh public hearing on Compassionate Allowances. The hearing took testimony from some of the nation’s leading experts on autoimmune diseases about the possible methods of identifying and implementing Compassionate Allowances for adults and children with autoimmune diseases.

April 6, 2011 Entertainment icons George Takei and Patty Duke teamed up to tell Americans to Boldly Go to to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and so much more. The two celebrities joined forces in a new campaign to help the Social Security Administration promote its online services as an easy and secure way for people to do business with the agency.

May 9, 2011 SSA announced the agency is publishing data on its Open Government website about verifications the agency conducts for States under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.  Under HAVA, most States are required to verify the last four digits of the Social Security number of people newly registering to vote who do not possess a valid State driver's license. The data available at represents the summary results for each State of the four-digit match performed by Social Security under HAVA.

May 13, 2011 Social Security Board of Trustees long-range projections estimate that the Trust Funds will be depleted in 2036, one year earlier than predicted in last year's report.

June 25, 2011 SSA changed its procedures for issuing new SSNs. The shift to a random procedure means that the area number will no longer be assigned any geographical significance. Unused area numbers will also become usable. This shift will allow the issuance of more SSNs before the stock of potential numbers is depleted.

July 14, 2011 Commissioner Astrue announced 12 additional medical conditions to be included under the expedited Compassionate Allowances procedures--bring the total to 100 conditions.

July 22, 2011 Commissioner Astrue announced that beginning August 15, 2011, Social Security field offices will close to the public 30 minutes early each day and SSA will close field offices to the public on Friday, November 25, 2011. This is a response to budget shortfalls limiting available overtime (during the closed periods staff will process backlogged workloads).

March 16, 2012 SSA began mandating that claimants' representatives use the online iAppeals system when filing appeals on behalf of their clients, rather than visiting a field office for this purpose.

May 1, 2012 The Social Security Statement became available online via SSA's website by visiting: