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Social Security Online
Social Security Update
May 2009

In This Issue:

Most Popular Baby Names: American Parents Have Voted for Change

In Times Like These, Every Dollar Counts

Economic Downturn Leads to Worsening of Long-Range Financing Outlook

President Obama Committed to Social Security

New Online Application Status

Wounded Warriors: Take Care with Medicare and TRICARE

Commissioner Astrue Honored for Public Health Leadership

Help Us Plan a Birthday Bash

Most Popular Baby Names: American Parents Have Voted for Change

baby girl smilingWhen it comes to naming their children, American parents have decided it’s time for a change. After a 12-year run as the most popular girl’s name, Emily has slipped to number three, with Emma taking the top spot, followed by Isabella. Jacob sits at the top for the tenth consecutive year, followed by Michael and Ethan. The name everybody is wondering about, Barack, did not make this year’s top 1,000 boy’s list, but it did set what is believed to be a record by skyrocketing more than 10,000 spots in rising from number 12,535 in 2007 to 2,409 in 2008.

If you want to learn more about the most popular baby names, please read our press release at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/baby-names2008-pr.htm.

 

 

 

 

In Times Like These, Every Dollar Counts

father and daughterThis Father’s Day, Social Security is encouraging people to consider doing something for their fathers that can really make a difference. Show them how to get extra help with their Medicare prescription drug costs.

The cost of medicine can be a burden on people with limited income and resources, but help is available through Social Security — extra help that will pay part of Dad’s monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. The extra help could save Dad an average of $3,900 per year.

So encourage your clients to give their dads a gift that keeps on giving; tell them to talk with their fathers about the extra help available from Social Security. They can even go online and help their fathers apply. After all, in times like these, every dollar counts. Learn more at www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/10164.html

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Economic Downturn Leads to Worsening of Long-Range Financing Outlook

Trustees Report LogoLast week, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security trust funds. The Trustees project that program costs will exceed tax revenues in 2016, one year sooner than projected in last year’s report. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2037, four years sooner than projected last year.

Michael Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, advised, “We should be neither casual nor hysterical about the revised insolvency dates. As with the economy as a whole, the Social Security system will weather this recession. However, the sooner we get on with the task of reforming the system, the easier it will be to make the tough choices that we all know we need to make.”

Learn more by reading the press release at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/trustee09-pr.htm.

To see the Trustee’s Report, please go to www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2009.

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President Obama Committed to Social Security

President ObamaPresident Barack Obama has requested $11.6 billion for Social Security’s administrative expenses in his fiscal year 2010 budget proposal. That’s a 10 percent increase over the current year. In doing this, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to helping Social Security reduce longstanding backlogs and handle the recession-related work that is flooding the agency. 

Commissioner Astrue has said it is critical that Congress enact the President’s budget proposal in a timely manner so we can continue to properly serve the American public.

For more information please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/budget.

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New Online Application Status

Did you know claimants can check the status of their pending Social Security application on Social Security’s website? It doesn’t matter whether they applied for benefits online, in the Social Security office, or on the phone; and it doesn’t matter whether the application is for retirement, disability, survivors or spouse’s benefits. Just tell your client to visit www.socialsecurity.gov and select the “Check the status of your application” link on the upper, left-hand side. Then enter the Social Security number and the confirmation number, given at the time of the application. It’s that easy. Refer claimants to www.socialsecurity.gov.    

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Wounded Warriors: Take Care with Medicare and TRICARE

American FlagWhen it comes to medical coverage for military personnel and their families, it’s important to know the facts. Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. TRICARE is the Department of Defense’s health care plan for active duty or retired uniformed service members and their families. 

TRICARE is meant to provide secondary or “wrap-around” coverage to Medicare, but only if enrolled in Medicare Part B. In most cases, to remain eligible for TRICARE private sector care, individuals who are entitled to Medicare Part A based on Social Security Disability must enroll in Medicare Part B.

To help make things clear, Social Security has a new fact sheet: Important Information for TRICARE (Military Health Benefits) Beneficiaries Entitled to Medicare Based on Social Security Disability. You can read it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10020.html.

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Commissioner Astrue Honored for Public Health Leadership

Commissioner AstrueThe National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has honored Commissioner Astrue with their Public Health Leadership Award.  NORD noted Commissioner Astrue’s “focus on reducing the disability backlog and improving service to the public.” A key component of the Commissioner’s backlog reduction plan is the agency’s Compassionate Allowances initiative, a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards. Social Security worked with NORD in developing the expedited decision process which was launched in October 2008, with an initial total of 50 conditions — 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers. Information about the process can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Learn more about the presentation of this award at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/nord-award-pr.htm

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Help Us Plan a Birthday Bash

August 14, 2010 will mark the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act — the landmark legislation that created Social Security. We’re looking for ideas on how to celebrate this important milestone. We welcome suggestions on a variety of topics as they relate to Social Security’s history and the important role its programs play in the lives of millions of people. While our anniversary is in August of 2010, we’re looking for suggestions on ways we can commemorate the anniversary throughout the entire year. Please share your ideas with us, and encourage your constituents to get involved, by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/75-anni/form.html.


 

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