This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures.
Social Security Online
Social Security Update
May 2011

In This Issue:

Social Security Board of Trustees Report Released

Boardroom The Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. The report projected:

  • The combined Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2036 — one year sooner than projected last year. Without changes, in 2036 the Social Security Trust Fund will be able to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits
  • Over the 75-year period, the Trust Funds would require additional revenue equivalent to $6.5 trillion in present value dollars to pay all scheduled benefits.

"The current Trustees Report again reflects what we have long known to be true — we need changes to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security and to restore younger workers' confidence in the program," said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.

You can find the 2011 Trustees Report at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2011.

Social Security Budget Reduced

SSA FY 2012 budget overviewCongress provided us with $11.4 billion for our Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 administrative expenses—$23 million below the enacted FY 2010 level and nearly $1 billion below the FY 2011 President's budget request.

Given the tight budget situation, we are continuing our SSA-wide hiring freeze with the exception of our hearings operation. We have had to cut most of the overtime, except for critical activities like helping people who come into our offices for service at the end of the day. Our field office and hearing office employees will no longer visit remote service sites; and we will not open the new teleservice center or eight new hearing offices as we had planned. We also have suspended issuing Social Security Statements. By making these very tough choices, we will be able to avoid furloughing our employees and will keep our doors open to the public in FY 2011.

Even though our budget has been cut, we remain focused on eliminating our hearings backlog by FY 2013. Our hearing receipts have been increasing, but we are hiring new judges and support staff over the next few months and, with adequate funding in FY 2012, expect to continue to make progress improving this important workload.

The number of employees we have determines the amount of work we can complete. We expect to lose about 3,500 employees this year and 4,400 in the next fiscal year if we continue to operate at an approximately level budget.  We will do our best to serve the American people, and encourage everyone to use our online services at www.socialsecurity.gov

To learn more about Social Security's budget, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/budget.

Veterans and Social Security

VeteranDid you know that more than one out of five adults receiving Social Security have served in the U.S. military? Veterans and their families make up 35 percent of the beneficiary population.

Nearly 650,000 veterans under the age of 62 receive Social Security, and about 4.3 million veterans aged 75 or older draw Social Security benefits. You can find out more about the veteran and Social Security populations in the May issue of our research journal, Social Security Bulletin. While you’re there, click “Subscribe to Updates” on the right side of the page to receive updates. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/ssb/index.html.

A Handsome Gift for Dads Everywhere

Father and SonsFather's Day is right around the corner. Dads around the nation may get the usual gift: a necktie or new fishing lure. But there's one gift available that's even better. People all over the country can help their dads save nearly $4,000 a year on the cost of prescription drugs. You can encourage your clients to do the same — and it won't cost a dime.

Extra Help — available through Social Security — could pay part of the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. That Extra Help is worth an average of almost $4,000 a year.

To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

To learn more about the Extra Help from Social Security, visit www.socialsecurity.gov, where you also can find an easy-to-use online application.

Need a Baby Name or Answers to Your Social Security Questions? Use Your Mobile Device!

Smart phoneAbout to be a parent and you haven't had time to pick up a book to search for baby names? There's an app for that!

Use your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to search the most popular baby names of the last 120 years using official Social Security data. Social Security's Baby Names Playroom allows you to browse names, search for a particular name, or choose the "surprise me" mode to randomly find names at the shake of your device. We even offer a trivia game and encourage you to use Twitter and Facebook to share your favorite baby names.

Got a Social Security question you need answered while you're on the go? Use our mobile-friendly FAQs page. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/faq from your mobile device.

Of course, you're welcome to visit our baby names and frequently asked questions pages from your computer or laptop -- at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/ and www.socialsecurity.gov/faq.

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